Mahera Khaleque, a US-based Bangladeshi artist was a research artist in residency with Britto Arts Trust, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Her residency period spanned from June 24 to July 20. The residency ended with an open studio visit from July 19- 20, where she exhibited an installation at the Britto Space. The title of the show was “Laundering of History”.
On her installation, Khaleque stated that history occurs in its own way, following its own timeline; not necessarily do we know history as the way it occurs. Deliberate efforts in erasing and re-writing history are not uncommon. Light and mundane words, images and sounds become precious, even heavy, when they are locked up in containers.
Khaleque combined digital media along with readymade objects and painting. The major components for the installation were newsprint paper, fabric, tin trunks and video pieces. She intended to offer the experience of a laundry with newsprint papers pasted on thin fabric that were hanging from a huge number of hangers. Some paper-pasted fabrics were also placed in tin trunks. Other paper-pasted fabrics were painted and skillfully torn-off leaving some information from previous layers. This is a continuation of her practice of using texts and images in layers.
“I am interested in reflecting the external appearance of the world around me as well as my understanding of its complexities. The contemporary global socio-political and environmental issues that I am surrounded by keep me informed. Preferring to raise questions as opposed to answering them, I attempt to leave ample space for the viewers to contemplate,” said the artist.
Khaleque's training in art began at the Institute of Fine Arts (now Faculty of Fine Arts), University of Dhaka. On the completion of her undergraduate degree in 1994, she went to the US for higher education, earning a BA (1997) in Fine Arts from York College of Pennsylvania and an MA (2000) in Painting as well as an MA (2004) in Visual Communications Design from Purdue University. Currently she is pursuing her MFA (2012-2015) at the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia. She has taught art and humanities as a lecturer at Augusta State University, Georgia before going for her MFA. Khaleque has received the 2014 Mary
Rosenblatt Teaching Award from the University of Georgia.