Student Work

  • Fine Arts (MFA)

    Umber Majeed

    Memories Fade... Photographs Shouldn't / The Complete Picture

    “Memories Fade … Photographs Shouldn’t” (2016), is a video animation incorporating the artist’s maternal grandfather, Pirzada Abdul Waheed’s analog photographic archive. Pirzada Abdul Waheed was a young member of the Muslim League during the Partition of 1947 and sought out the development of modern day Pakistan. The photographs presented are specific to the late 1970s - early 2000s, where the artist’s grandfather documented the construction and development of the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan (National Mosque of Pakistan). The artist, reconfigured the photos through digital manipulation and playfully activates the aesthetics within the photographs, thus creating a inter-generational dialogue within the work. The  photographs reveal Waheed as an flaneur, capturing moments between the laborer’s body on site as well as the nuances of the Islamic architecture. 

    The artist is interested in blurring the lines between native and foreign using the Faisal Mosque as a convoluted representation of national identity.  The National Mosque was funded by the late King Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz and the government of Saudi Arabia as well as designed by a Turkish Architect, Vedat Ali Dalokay. The facts outline the influence of a particular kind of Islamization that still affect Pakistan today. These notions of belonging reveal itself to be constructed, leading one to question the pursuits of such assimilation. 

    "The Complete Picture" (2016), is a series of color pencil drawings created from imagery of the remnants surrounding the photographic materials of the artist’s grandfather’s archive. The archive remains un-categorized and inaccessible due to family inheritance issues thus the artist highlights the containers and fragile markings around the photographs she owns; this includes the family albums, notes on the back of some photographs, popular culture imagery from the Fujifilm pamphlets that the photographs are haphazardly stored in.