Darr: 37 Conversations

Centre A Gallery, Vancouver, Canada


Title: Darr: 37 Conversations
Medium: feature length video
Multi-channel video installation
Year: 2004
Centre A Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
Collection: University of Alberta, Canada

Samina Mansuri's solo exhibition "DARR: 37 Conversations" (darr, meaning "fear" in Urdu) is a timely inquiry into the discourse of fear on the third anniversary of 9-11. It presents Mansuri's first feature-length video comprised of 37 conversations filmed during the IntraNation artist residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts in 2004. The work documents the participants' responses to fear in relation to nationalism, globalization, and cultural identity. Many of the speakers, cultural activists, politically-engaged artists and writers, critique the construction of fear in society, speaking to the problems of representation that underlie it and implications for understanding social realities. A basic human emotion, fear is pervasive today in popular culture, public discourse and the news media. "DARR" explores today's culture of fear not only as a symbolic construction generated by theoretical discussions, the public sphere, and the media's use of "fear frames," but also as a real experience of everyday life. The deliberate candid dialogues in real-time, overlays of quiet scenic settings, artists' projects and various shot types challenge conventional media formats. In effect, "DARR" is as much about the media, as it is made possible through its use. In exploring the many faces of fear, it offers insights into the expectation of danger central to a "risk society" and potential courses of action within. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with texts by Samina Mansuri, Ashok Mathur and Alice Ming Wai Jim.

Synopsis by Alice Ming Wai Jim
Curator of exhibition Centre A Gallery. Presently assistant professor of Art History, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada