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Spectral Futures

Featuring works by Shirin Fahimi and Jawa El Khash
Curated by Vince Rozario

February 22 – March 30, 2024
Reception: Thursday, February 22, 2024 | 6-9PM

Spectral Futures is an exhibition that brings together the digital media practices of Jawa El Khash and Shirin Fahimi, which confront the absence of queer, feminist and otherwise marginalized narratives within dominant histories. Fahimi and El Khash deploy speculative fiction as a way of imagining new worlds beyond the confines of patriarchy, colonialism, and environmental destruction.

Adapting texts, objects, and architecture, Spectral Futures finds new ways to animate cultural memory, creating simulations that can incubate a vision for collective liberation.

Fahimi’s project, “Umm Al Raml’s Sand Narratives”, engages Iranian women who practice mysticism, using geomantic divination to speculate on lost histories of women prophets excluded from orthodox theologies. Meanwhile, in “Upper Side of the Sky”, El Khash reimagines ancient ruins and plant life lost to civil war in Palmyra, Syria inviting viewers into the process of bringing them back to life.
Using immersive image-making technologies like interactive 3D animation, holography, and video installation, Spectral Futures salvages from the cumulative wreckage of history to visualize possibilities of life outside of destructive and unsustainable structures.

Supported by the Ontario Arts Council


Vince Rozario

Vince Rozario (they/them) is a Bangladeshi-Canadian independent curator, critic, writer, arts administrator, and community organizer based in Toronto. Their practice focuses on issues and themes around decolonizing the canon, multiple modernities, queer diasporas, and transnational futures. Rozario has written about community accountability, representation, and equity in the Canadian contemporary art sphere. Their work aims to explore modes of art production and circulation that circumvent traditional modes of exhibition and dissemination. They have contributed writings to Momus, C Magazine, and InterAccess, is part of Whippersnapper Gallery’s board of directors, has worked at the South Asian Visual Art Centre, and was one of the winners of the 2021 Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators.

Jawa El Khash

Jawa El Khash is an artist, researcher and technologist, whose practice celebrates the technological revival of ancient culture. She artistically adopts the mediums of holography, web based simulation and virtual reality to archive, re-imagine and resurrect cultural artifacts. Her creative research dissects the role of technology in archiving art history and the artistic influence of cultural heritage, botanical life and architectural identity.

Shirin Fahimi

Shirin Fahimi is a digital media artist based in Ontario, born in Iran. She investigates the colonial dichotomies of rationalism and superstition, as well as the ways in which women negotiate visibility in the political arena of Islamic societies through digital world-making. Her research is influenced by Islamic mysticism literature and magic in Iranian society and diasporic communities. Since 2016, she has developed her practice into a body of multimedia installations, performances, and an extended reality series based on the Islamic method of divination called Ilm-al-Raml, known as geomancy. She has presented her work at critically recognized venues including Savvy Contemporary, Counter Pulse, and The Rubin Museum of Art.