"I am from there. I am from here”
An installation with hair- drawings of an imaginary script that resembles Arabic language, frozen in clear epoxy resin, bronze braids, hair sculptures, a wooden necklace, and a contract at the Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present
“I am from there. I am from here”
I am not there and I am not here.
I have two names, which meet and part,
and I have two languages.
I forget which of them I dream in.”
- Mahmoud Darwish
For Sharjah Biennial 15, Sen presents I am from there. I am from here (2023), a mixed media installation revolving around an imaginary script of her own invention. Reminiscent of Arabic but intentionally illegible, this linguistic artifice is designed to induce a sense of dyslexia and refusal of access to meaning in Arabic and non-Arabic speaking audiences alike. The installation takes the form of a poem written with natural and artificial hair, evoking a sharp body politic through these tendrils, and for viewers the estrangement and frustration of encountering an ‘exotic’ culture that appears unknowable."
Sen’s inclusion of emojis alongside her imaginary language pokes fun at the distinctions between the ‘high art’ of calligraphic script and mass-produced, digitally mediated popular art. Mapping out her own subconscious assumptions of an unfamiliar language and culture through the reproduction of an entirely new alphabet and phonetics, the artist enhances the qualities of the written poem’s ‘cross-cultural exchange’ while alluding to the limits of human communication.