The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis presents Montreal-based artist Hajra Waheed’s first major solo museum exhibition in the US.
Waheed’s multidisciplinary practice explores the legacies of colonial and state violence with a uniquely poetic approach and engagement with the world. Weaving between the intimate and infinite constellations of the communities of which she is a part, her works – while rooted in the past – imagine new possibilities towards a radically collective and borderless future.
Featuring recent and newly commissioned bodies of work including video, painting and works on paper, the exhibition activates CAM’s main galleries and centers on a new iteration of Hum (2020), the artist’s seminal multi-channel musical composition and sound installation.
Hum, whose title translates to “We” in Urdu, was initially created upon invitation for Lahore Biennial 02 in Pakistan. The work reflects on international solidarity movements that emerged in the second half of the 20th century during processes of decolonization in the Global South.
Driven by the need to critically engage these histories and their implications for our time, the composition features eight hummed songs of resistance from South, Central and West Asia as well as Africa. Shared across each of these hummed verses are stories of struggle against state oppression, the rise of authoritarianism and the plight and hope of working people, the marginalized and the dispossessed.
All of these songs are being resurrected in social movements today.