Jasdeep Kang, “Phiran Wali (the girl who walks)” installation view (2019) at Automata Arts (photo by Douglas Fenton)

From elaborate department store window displays advertising fashion and beauty products, to red light districts where female bodies themselves are commodified, the trope of the “woman in the window” reflects the deep-seated objectification of women that crosses cultural and geographic boundaries. Los Angeles-based curator Zehra Ahmed turns this symbol on its head with her multi-venue installation, Women in Windows. Opening tonight and running through March 17 (with a celebratory reception on Saturday evening), the project places video art by six women of color in the windows of galleries and arts organizations along Chung King Road in Chinatown. In doing so, she allows populations that have been historically silenced and fetishized the opportunity to reclaim their own images in these contested spaces.

Yumna Al-Arashi, still from “Shedding Skin” (2017) (courtesy of Women in Windows and the artist)

The program includes “Phiran Wali (the girl who walks)” (2019) by Punjabi-American filmmaker Jasdeep Kang, an exploration of the female body through displacement and diaspora shot in her hometown of Yuba City, California; “the Ascension” (2018), a meditation on the Buraq, a mythical Islamic being, by Indian-born, LA-based artist and founder of Discostan Arshia Fatima Haq; and “Garden” (2017) by Trinidadian/Puerto Rican/American filmmaker and artist Alima Lee, a candid depiction of the daily rituals of a black woman. Other featured works are “Ravel” (2014) by Gazelle Samizay, “Are You Here” (2019) by Muna Malik, and “Shedding Skin” (2017) by Yumna Al-Arashi. Participating venues are Imprint Projects, Chungking Studio, Poetic Research Bureau, Lisa Derrick Fine Arts, Automata Arts, Preen Inc., and the Institute for Art and Olfaction.

When: Saturday, March 2, 7–10pm
Where: Chungking Studio (975 Chung King Road, Chinatown, Los Angeles)

More info at Women in Windows.

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, CARLA, Apollo, ARTNews, and other publications.