Hajra Waheed (Montreal)

Hold Everything Dear

In collaboration with director and theatre artist Clea Minaker, Waheed translated elements of her collage practice into a stunning shadow-play performance that demonstrated “the ever-growing need to hold everything dear, should it become collateral damage to the unforeseen events of the near future.” Sitting on the floor, Waheed shifted and molded what appeared to be a rock until it slowly unfolded as a crumbled mass of paper against the backdrop of an evocative recorded narration. The piece finds “its origins in the symbolism and form of a whirlpool that provides an apt visual metaphor amid the current chaos of the world, one that suggests both destruction and deliverance.”

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Hajra Waheed’s FIELD MEETING participation is supported by Asia Art Archive in America.

Hajra Waheed, Hold Everything Dear, 2017. Performance documentation FIELD MEETING Take 5: Thinking Project, November 15th at SVA Theatre.


Hajra Waheed’s multidisciplinary practice ranges from interactive installations to collage, video, sound and sculpture. Prompted by news accounts and extensive research, Waheed uses complex narrative structures to explore issues surrounding covert power, mass surveillance, cultural distortion and the traumas and alienation of displaced subjects via mass migration. Over the last decade, Waheed has participated in exhibitions worldwide, most recently including the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, VIVA ARTE VIVA, Venice (2017); 11th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2016); The Cyphers, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK (2016); Still Against the Sky, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2015); L’avenir (Looking Forward), La Biennale de Montréal, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, QC (2014). She received the prestigious 2014 Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for outstanding achievement as a Canadian mid-career visual artist and was shortlisted for the 2016 Sobey Art Award, Canada’s preeminent contemporary art prize. Waheed’s works can be found in permanent collections including MOMA, New York; British Museum, London; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Burger Collection, Zurich/Hong Kong and Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi. Hajra Waheed (b. 1980, Canada) lives and works in Montréal.

Hajra Waheed, Artist in Studio (2016), Image Courtesy of the Artist. Photo Credit: Kaveh Nabatian