Umber Majeed and OPEN OFFICE.2
July 16 – August 14, 2021
Trans-Pakistan Zindabad (Facts about the Earth)
OPEN OFFICE.2 + ext.1708gallery.org
Exhibition: Friday, July 16 – Saturday, August 14
Opening Reception + Website Launch: Friday, July 16, 5 - 8 pm
Lecture Performance by Umber Majeed: Saturday, July 17, 11 am
Conversation with designer Ashley Moody TBA
1708 Gallery is excited to present two concurrent projects that invite visitors to explore the ways in which artists involve research in their practices. Asolo exhibition by Umber Majeed and a collective project designed by Ashley Moody—with contributions from recent and upcoming exhibiting artists—will expand the notion of offices, headquarters, libraries, desks, and texts.
In Trans-Pakistan Zindabad (Facts about the Earth), Umber Majeed instills her own form of immersivity—her plethora of research materials will envelop the visitor. Atlases in Urdu, children’s books, real estate advertisements, and her uncle’s archives become drawings, interactive web-based media, collage, and vinyl. This installation is a sleek yet glitched and fractured rendering of a re-imagined Trans-Pakistan travel agency headquarters. Trans-Pakistan Zindabad (Facts about the Earth) infiltrates the façade of tourism and leisure. Majeed uses its specific visual language (in her words, “South Asian digital kitsch”) to chart the residues and impact of technocratic regimes on the formation of national identities, urban planning, and the problematic centrality of the West.
Majeed will give a public lecture performance at 1708 on Saturday, July 17 at 11 am in which she will weave her way through the digital interfaces she creates, like the work included in this exhibition, fotocopy.net. Through manipulating her cultural subjectivity and shifting visual and conceptual perspective in virtual and real time, Majeed’s performance will elucidate key tenets of her research as artistic process and her socio-political endeavours. In addition to the exhibition, NOTES ON TRANS-PAKISTAN ZINDABAD, a new essay by Karina Iskandarsjah about Majeed's project and practice, will be published in our online journal at ext.1708gallery.org.
ext.1708gallery.org is a discursive online platform and companion to 1708’s main sites and spaces. This website began as an online journal that developed dialogues with and around our exhibiting artists. Expanded into three sections, the newly redesigned platform includes the original journal now titled EXT.1708 JOURNAL, a shared research library OPEN OFFICE, and PROJECTS, a space for web-based artistic exploration. This platform stems from the programmatic focus at 1708 that maintains our commitment to being host to artistic inquiry and public engagement with all forms of creative production.
ext.1708gallery.org and OPEN OFFICE.2 were designed by Richmond-based designer Ashley Moody. Her approach to this project has been one that highlights accessibility to multiple forms of content on and offline and establishes a bridge between the many intersections of artistic processes and public reception. OPEN OFFICE.2 is an iteration of an ongoing project established in 2019. Presented both at 1708 and online att ext.1708gallery.org, this project is a shared research library informed by the concepts, discussions, and inquiries that circumscribe 1708’s exhibitions program. Artists involved in past and upcoming exhibitions were invited to provide textual materials that they deem relevant to their practice, project at 1708, and interests. Documents are available for public exploration and personal collection. This participatory project does not intend to establish a fully developed, resolute image of specific exhibitions; rather, by opening the artistic, design, and curatorial research to the public, it allows for dynamic and uncertain assemblages of thoughts and trajectories to emerge.
Umber Majeed (b. New York, 1989) is a multidisciplinary visual artist. She received her MFA from Parsons the New School for Design in 2016 and graduated from Beaconhouse National University in Lahore, Pakistan in 2013. Her writing, performance, and animation work engage with familial archives to explore Pakistani state, urban, and digital infrastructure through a feminist lens. Majeed has shown in venues across Pakistan, North America, and Europe. Recent group exhibitions include; ‘The Divided Self’, The Slought Foundation, Philadelphia (2012), “The Museum: Within and Without”, The State Hermitage Museum, St.Petersburg, Russia (2015), 'Promises to Keep', apexart, New York (2017), 'Witness- Karachi Biennale', Karachi, Pakistan (2017), and ‘Volumes- Queens International 2018’, Queens Museum, New York (2018). She is a recipient of numerous fellowships including the HWP Fellowship, Ashkal Alwan, Beirut, Lebanon (2017), Refiguring Feminist Futures Web Residency, Akademie Schloss Solitude & ZKM, Germany (2018), and the Digital Earth Fellowship, Hivos, the Netherlands (2018-19). Her work has been acquired by several private collections, including the Lekha and Anupam Poddar Collection at the Devi Art Foundation in Gurgaon, India. Majeed is a member of the HHH Collective currently based in New York, USA. She lives and works in New York, USA and Lahore, Pakistan. In October 2018, Majeed had her debut solo exhibition, ‘In the Name of Hypersurface of the Present’, Rubber Factory, New York. She was Technology Resident at Pioneer Works in the Fall 2020.
Ashley Moody is Richmond-based working professionally as a product designer and experimentally as a web/graphic/experiential designer.
Special Thanks to Luke Stoutenburg and Sergej Kurbanov