Also in Sikander’s first solo show at Hosfelt, this work incorporates many of Sikander’s signature motifs. The central female figure floats across the cosmos, surrounded by astrological symbols of the planets—referring to cycles in life and how we are influenced by forces outside, and often greater than, ourselves.
A second figure, painted in grey, merges into the first and becomes a part of her, though each remains independently rooted in herself. They share the veil, but the addition of the second woman gives the original figure arms that allow the two of them to reach out, empowered, stretching across the center of the cosmos; a transformation.
The white dots in the upper left refer to the tradition of girls praying to Naga (the Indian divinity associated with eternity, prosperity, fertility) to find them a good husband, by making offerings of white-dotted clay images; another allusion to traditional gender roles and expectations. However, the snake’s ability to shed its skin also makes Naga a symbol of transformation. Quite typically, Sikander appropriates divergent religious, and societal beliefs, subverting and transforming their traditional meanings by juxtaposing them with one another. For Sikander, identity is fluid, complex, multiplicitous, and capable of being transformed—even if only transiently.