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Installation view of The Spiral, 2019, single-channel video installation with sound: 7 min 10 sec, at “Hold Everything Dear,” The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto, 2019–20. All images courtesy the artist.

Collective Cosmologies

Hajra Waheed

You step into the darkness. You look up, and through the layers of leaves, in the night sky, there is light. As you begin to move, a voice speaks. “The spiral is much more than just a form . . . It expands and contracts, increases and decreases . . . it is the form of smoke entering the air . . .” She finds the form in nature, and in ourselves. “The form of embryos and the cylindrical helices of our umbilical cords that tether mother to child.” The outlines of silhouetted leaves change above you. “It reminds us that just as everything comes together, everything falls apart again . . .” She evokes its deeper significations. “It is a way of seeing . . . It is about community / collaboration / attaching and being attached . . . Change, is rarely a straightforward line.” Is she talking to you, or are these your own thoughts?

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