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Indepth Arts News:

"Jigar: Films by Alia Syed"
2002-02-06 until 2002-03-15
Institute of International Visual Arts
London, , UK

Jigar: derived from the Urdu word for friend or lover. TheSpace@inIVA presents the London strand of Jigar, an inIVA touring exhibition that brings together a significant body of work made over the past fifteen years, by one of today's foremost British Asian artists.

Alia Syed's evocative and poetic film-works embrace a wide range of film practices, refusing to sit in a single, definable form. Classic feminist agendas, issues of representation, fragmented narratives and the urban landscape play alongside Syed's unpretentious celebration of sound and image. Using 16mm film, Syed's elegiac works revel in ambiguities of time and place. At TheSpace@inIVA, single-screen versions of 'Spoken Diary' (2001) and 'Fatima's Letter' (1994) place allegory at the forefront of Syed's film language.

'Spoken Diary' tells the tale of two parallel journeys. A woman reflects through a rainy London night, noting her thoughts as she is in transit. At the same time, the film depicts a lover's journey of self-discovery, accompanied by a poetic voiceover and intense soundtrack.

Frequently depicting the Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities of east London, Syed tackles both personal and political issues of identity, using a variety of narrative structures. 'Fatima's Letter' is a tale told in Urdu in the form of a letter. Subtitles are provided, but they remain out of sync with the film's narration.

Jigar provides new contexts for Syed's work, outside the film festival circuit in which she has become well-known. Collaborating with a diverse range of host venues, inIVA continues its support of emerging artists by allowing Syed's practice to resonate with new physicalities and meanings.

IMAGE:
Alia Syed
Fatima’s Letter
16mm film
1994


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