Farheen HaQ, Ascension

Subject(ive) Aesthetics

Farheen HaQ, Miriam Bohemia, Elly Lee, Jennifer Linton, Fariba Samsami

A Space Main Gallery

January 14 – February 19, 2005

Curated by: Milena Placentile

"The personal is the political," announces the well-worn credo, and years later it is still harnessed as an effective point of entry by artists seeking social justice through creative and intellectual pursuits. Subject(ive) Aesthetics brings together five artists to highlight their autobiographical use of personal cultural experience in order to develop unique aesthetic vocabularies that reveal their subjectivities while creating a means for engaging viewers. Although each of these artists employ different media, techniques and styles, their work equally provokes critical thinking about social circumstances that enable the control and commodification of female sexual self-identity and expression.


Farheen HaQ works with photography, video and more recently sculpture, often using her body to explore religion and femininity within the context of her South-Asian heritage.

Based in Vancouver, Miriam Bohemia is a Czech/Slovak Canadian painter concerned with the theme of women’s sexuality and desires, particularly in relation to women of post-communist Eastern/Central Europe.

Elly Lee’s installations employ ceramics and focus on the literal and metaphorical states of the female body.

Jennifer Linton explores religious themes that differ from those she encountered through her own Anglo-Protestant upbringing.

Fariba Samsami’s sculpture is marked with a provocative darkness that reflects her critical view of the restrictions experienced by many Iranian women.

Milena Placentile is an independent curator currently pursuing a curatorial residency at The Ottawa Art Gallery through funding made possible by the Canada Council’s Diverse Curators in Residencies in the Visual Arts Program.