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Art Review

Seher Shah, Capitol Complex: Courtyard Ramp, 2012

Collage on paper, 28 x 36 cm

If there’s an element of embattlement in Tuazon’s engagements with context, seher shah is even more forceful about how public space and architecture can reflect the will to impose dominion. Trained as an artist and as an architect (she no longer practices, though she used to design skyscrapers), she makes hybridised cityscapes, ostensibly located in Asia or the Middle East and delivered in the form of montaged photographs and drawings, sometimes flipped into symmetries and overlaid with fractal patterns. They’re evocations of a chaotic moment, as capitalism sweeps across continents, bringing with it a stark architectural Esperanto that displaces tradition and specificity: in other words, her brooding art might be less about architecture than about what specific examples of it are metonymic for, and why they are where they are.

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