Aaniya Asrani: Temporary Resident
July 12 @ 10:00 am - August 22 @ 6:00 pm PDT
The tongue of my ancestors is Sindhi, I can’t learn it anymore.
My mother tongue is Hindi, I can’t write it very well.
My father tongue is Kannada, I can’t read it at all.
My tongue is the colonizers, I can’t cut it off.
July 12 – August 22, 2021
in the Massy Gallery
Upstairs at Massy Books
229 East Georgia Street
Temporary Resident addresses themes of identity, immigration and mental health in the viewpoint of the ‘Other’. Here I attempt to unpack the point of tension I occupy as a temporary resident and uninvited visitor on unceded territories. This show poses more questions than answers, and asks us to investigate our complicity in larger social, political, and cultural systems of oppression.
These pieces exist in response to the in-between space I have come to inhabit as a foreign body distanced from home. A space in limbo, which has only been exacerbated by a year of flight bans, confinement, and uncertainty. Rather than conceal my feelings, I have accepted and held space for the surfacing of negative emotions such as Depression and Anxiety which have come to resemble old friends. I now invite them to dance with me.
This show welcomes you to be a part of my emotional landscape. I encourage you to engage in the space and interact with specific works. Pick up a ‘Listening Vessel’ and hold it up to your ear/talk into it, sit down in the chair and read a book or two, or seek out the small gestures scattered around the space that offer ritual protection to keep us safe in our journeys.
About the Artist:
Aaniya Asrani (b. 1992) is an interdisciplinary artist, graphic designer, and visual storyteller from Bangalore, India. She graduated from Srishti Institute of Art, Design, and Technology with distinction in Visual Communication (2014) and Emily Carr University with a Master of Fine Arts (2019).
She lives and works on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh Nations as Lead Community Artist at PosAbilities, Neighbourhood Organiser with InWithForward and an Educator at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. She has been Artist-in-Residence at Access Gallery’s PLOT (2020-2021) and Mount Pleasant Elementary School (2020-2021). She has also conducted workshops at Ground Floor Art Centre (2018), Centre A (2019), and Roundhouse Community Centre (2020).
Her art practice spans a range of mediums, and investigates social, political, and cultural systems in order to critique and question existing injustices. The work she undertakes has the ultimate goal of facilitating empathy across diverse communities and systemic disparities to catalyse small actions of change.
I would like to acknowledge the ground on which we stand as the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples including the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. I do this not only to recognize the history of this land, but to acknowledge a pressing need for change and concrete actions towards decolonizing our settler societies.