Fascinated by readymade objects sourced from various locations, Rana Begum builds works that play with light, colour and form. Begum “started off as a representational artist”, but then realised that was not a path she wanted to go down. She became very interested in works by artists such as Agnes Martin and Sol LeWitt, which inspired her to look at her own work differently, dissecting it into its component parts – form, colour and line – “all things that can be investigated on their own”.
This began Begum’s investigation into how light might change a form throughout the day, and this in turn fuelled her love of colour. Believing herself not to be “very good at mixing colours”, Begum began her exploration into colour by using the coloured adhesive tape already in her studio, which, she says “gave me a readymade palette”. Her objects shift from two-dimensional into sculptural through colour, that could be said to visually hum with reflection and glow. These pieces play games with interpretation and reception and, although Begum is quick to tell us that she doesn’t like the term “optical illusion” in relation to her work, she does like the idea of a visual surprise.
Rana Begum: The Space Between
Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London
30 June – 18 Sept 2016
Interview by MK PALOMAR
Filmed by MARTIN KENNEDY
Ziba Ardalan – interview: ‘Parasol has been 16 years of go-go … Maybe it’s time to do something else’
Ardalan talks about her decision to close Parasol unit, and its achievements in London over the last 16 years
Christine Rebet– interview: ‘Animation is perfect for critique: it is a minor medium, it’s not film; like drawing is not painting’
Studio International spoke to Rebet at the opening of Time Levitation, her first solo show in the UK, at Parasol unit, London
This retrospective is nicely paced to reflect the breadth and depth in Martin Puryear’s sculptures, which draw you in with their physical and aesthetic seductions, all the better to unsettle and undermine you with the slow reveal of their ambiguities
Lamia Joreige: ‘Anything you film in a certain reality at a certain moment is a diagnosis of a present’
The artist, one of six finalists included in the Artes Mundi 7 exhibition, talks about her project Objects of War, a collective history of the Lebanese civil war, and her newer “poetic essays” exploring neighbourhoods in Beirut through film, photography, drawing and installation