Mahwish Chishty Named Among Top 25 for ArtPrize Jurors' Shortlist
Mahwish Chishty, Assistant Professor in Foundations, was named among the top 25 on the Jurors’ Shortlist for the international ArtPrize competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her exhibit “Naming the Dead” which was located at The Ruse Escape Room was originally installed at SPACES gallery in Cleveland in January 2018. The artwork was on view in Grand Rapids during the competition from September 29 through October 7, 2018. The juror, Rebecca Carbin, public art program manager for Waterfront Toronto, chose Chishty’s piece for the 3-D category.
"It really does something that really only art can do, which is collapse the giant distance between one group of people and another and make a very profound experience resonate," Carbin said.
Chishty wrote in an artist statement,” More than 400 drone strikes have hit the tribal regions of north west Pakistan since 2004. Mahwish Chishty has been investigating the complexity of this modern warfare through paintings, sculptures, animations and installations. Naming the Dead is a collaborative effort to create connection between US citizens and Pakistani civilians killed in drone strikes conducted by CIA. Utilizing the data collected by Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Ms. Chishty has been asking Americans of the same age and gender to read the name of a Pakistani deceased civilian from a list in order to relate and to start a dialogue. Current list contains 354 names including two females and several children, commonly described as ‘collateral damage’ by the military. The installation of each sound dome signifies average height of a specific age group. Chishty’s art practice is informed by her identity as a Pakistani-born American citizen.”
ArtPrize is an open, independently organized international art competition which takes place for 19 days every other fall in Grand Rapids, Michigan. More than five hundred thousand dollars in prizes are awarded each year, which include a $200,000 prize awarded entirely by public vote and another $200,000 prize awarded by a jury of art experts.
Any artist working in any medium from anywhere in the world can participate. Art is exhibited throughout downtown Grand Rapids—museums, bars, public parks, restaurants, theaters, hotels, bridges, laundromats, auto body shops, vacant storefronts and office spaces.