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Ayesha Saeed


I see ?possibilities? now in the photographs I take. The work is heavily
invested in an epiphany I had at the Art Institute of Chicago with Dutch
Modernist Theo Van Doesburg?s painting Counter Composition VIII. It has an odd
tilted framed that seemed to cause me to suddenly see the painting as if it were
popping outof the wall like a pixel. This totally flat plane suddenly was like a
window into another space with multiple 

white planes; just like the one I was in. In a moment, I had the experience of being unable to any longer precisely define what was real and what wasn? t.

It was so quiet, and so satisfying. I can only describe it as if I was suddenly
liberated from some vast decimal system; a sense was granted that there?s more to
what we see around us. We really can move through space, and deconstruct our
habitual vision.

Visually, I have tended to be more of a micro-than a macro-person. I often get
so immersed in a subject and magnify it so much that it becomes hard for me to
look at it from a distance. But after this event something happened; I started
producing work from the painting, and as if falling down a rabbit hole, I didn?t
know where I was going. Things began to gel when the process took me back to a
photograph I had taken in Lahore, Pakistan over a year ago.

I began realizing this experience I?d had with the Van Doesberg was something

that had been hinted at in other moments, and that I?d been skirting these same

insights or experiences in the past, including in this photo from Lahore. I began
using and manipulating this photo to produce most of the works you see in my
portfolio, amplifying and exploring the possibilities of this pixelated, mind-body insight.

The writings of Agnes Martin, introduced to me by a professor, really helped me to
make sense of my process and what I was seeing; they gave me full permission to
just trust these strange-seeming intuitions, and explore them.

I?ve come to understand my work as a process of actually refining my awareness,
and my self. I?ve passed through that boundary where I seem to realize it?s not
just job/ hobby/work anymore. I guess you could call this process ?spiritual?,
though that seems limiting. It gives an unknown joy. It makes me value the
everyday details of life?s light, and its shadows. The work is about the
quietness of the repetitive patterns of our daily lives. It has its unique rhythm
which I hear everywhere around me. I see strange systems of chaos and order
around me; the beauty of monotony, yet the complexity of it at the same time. The
pieces seem to allow me to focus, but then again push me back again so I can see
from a distance: the tension of micro and the macro.

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