Surabhi Ghosh is an interdisciplinary artist and educator based in Montréal. She is Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Fibre and Material Practices at Concordia University, where she also co-directs the interdisciplinary research group Ethnocultural Art HistoriesResearch in Media. Recent exhibitions of her work and collaborative projects have been held at the Wing Luke Museum (Seattle, WA), Ditch Projects (Springfield, OR), FOFA Gallery (Montréal, QC), and SPACE Gallery (Portland, ME). Ghosh’s visit to SAIC coincides with a collaborative exhibition with artist Olivia Valentine titled Margins, Material, and Metaphor, opening March 15, 2019, at Heaven Gallery.
Tracing the movements of people, textiles, and meanings through histories global and personal, Surabhi Ghosh unpacks the cultural significance of textiles and other bodily adornments as historical documents and complex symbols embedded in a range of contested narratives. With a key scene from the Mahabharata— the violent attempted disrobing of Draupadi—as anchor point, Ghosh builds a web of connections between textile objects, gendered narratives, global migration, nationalist ideologies, cultural diaspora, and her art practice. Drawing on mediated depictions of Hindu mythology circulated among immigrant communities in North America, her talk explores popularized Hinduism, the post-Independence (and post-Partition) evolution of Indian nationalism, and the formation of gender identities in the South Asian diaspora.