Featuring videos and photos of performances in both Paris and Hartford, The Red Chador provokes the question, “What do you fear?” The interdisciplinary exhibit explores artist, scholar, and global agitator Anida Yoeu Ali’s thematic interest in using religious aesthetics to provoke ideas of otherness.
Opening Reception: Tuesday, November 3, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Exhibition Period: November 3 – December 14, 2015
Widener Gallery at the Austin Arts Center
Trinity College, 300 Summit St., Hartford, CT 06106
Cloaked in a red sequin chador or “Muslim” headdress, internationally recognized artist Anida Yoeu Ali will stage a series of public performances between September and October across the Connecticut landscape. As The Red Chador, the artist can be found walking across campus grounds and abandoned factories, along main streets and side streets, and into churches and picket-fenced backyards. Ali asks, “If you encounter The Red Chador, would you fear her or walk with her? Would you help her across the terrain or would you block her path? Would you take a moment to notice her? Would you care at all?”
The Red Chador was originally commissioned for a series of durational performances at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris during April 2015 as part of the Secret Archipelago exhibition. In the original performance series, Ali divided her performances over two days, one outside and the other inside the museum. On the first day, April 19, 2015, The Red Chador took to the streets of Paris, strolling across famous Parisian tourist sites and walking into subways, cafes, and churches. The next day, The Red Chador became an executioner who sat for 12 hours at the Palais de Tokyo executing French baguettes every hour on the hour until her outrageous demands were met by museum visitors. The work drew upon the complex history between France and its former colonies, its own history of rebellion, and the current irrationality of fear and terrorism in many countries around the world.