Oxford: Ali Kazim
By David Elliott
Ali Kazim’s fascinating exhibition “Suspended in Time,” with its excellent catalogue, marks a significant shift in the evolution of one of Britain’s oldest museums from being a Eurocentrically funneled repository of the world’s antiquities and art works to becoming an institution that engages actively with how present-day culture is an expanding, evolving project. The result of Kazim’s residency with Oxford’s Classical Art Research Centre, the show included items from the Ashmolean collection, selected by the artist. Moulded under diverse historical influences, many of them incompatible, these artifacts were expanded and elaborated by the nuances of Kazim’s own paintings, objects, and installations. Together, these components served as “signals” that stretch across time, surfacing memories, traditions, thoughts, civilizations, and memes that are part of Kazim’s view of the current world.