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Zeshan Ahmed

Deliverance From Error, 2018

Unique Digital C print

30 x 35 1/2 in / 76.2 x 90.2 cm 

In Deliverance From Error, I continue to examine my impermanent and wavering feelings between certainty or its absence. The oscillations between these states leads to mental lapses or loops between degrees of certainty and doubt, when approaching work. I question whether ideas are destroyed from their platonic ideals in the process of manifestation: does realization also include cessation? 


Part of the uncertainty stems from my interest in color. I believe color does not exist in the sense it "hovers uneasily between the subjective world of sensation and the objective world of fact.” Which leads me to the question of where color might be found—out in the world, or only inside the mind? I erase colors to confirm whether something existed to begin with. I create marks in negative, where what is masked is preserved and what is exposed is erased. The marks are unconscious, insofar as that I don't know what I'm looking for. Sometimes I begin with a line to see where it goes, and other times with just an abstract mark. Decisions are made while making work, while doubt is made while contemplating my next step. Things are hidden from me, which I believe allows for action. I am uncertain whether doubt consumes me or if I consume doubt, because I believe information that helps us grow also chokes us at times.

What compels me most to make my attempts, I think, is the desire to expand beyond the notion of photography being windows and mirrors to the world, by creating doors—something beyond spectating and seeing from afar. I am compelled to present the nature of color but also to question the premise of what is seen. 

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Zeshan Ahmed is a visual artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Born and raised in old Delhi, India, his prints draw from a breadth of philosophical and personal references. Interior and contemplative, Ahmed abstractions forego specificity in favor of a wandering, poetic ambiguity, a strategic opacity abetted by his deconstructive erasure of color. His practice dwells in using photography not just as a tool but subject matter. Ahmed most recently exhibited his work in Pennsylvania, New York, Auckland, Pingyao, Nanjing, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. He is the recipient of Provost scholarship for his M.F.A. in Photography at Parsons School of Design, The New School, and The JN Tata Endowment Scholarship for the Higher Education of Indians, and currently part of the NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program for Visual & Multidisciplinary Artists, New York.

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