Sitting here at the Talwar Gallery I am watching the hauting and hypnotic short pieces by Alia Syed. Interesting concepts and amazing visuals – I am quite sure Alia will soon be making headlines. The throngs have not descended yet since the official opening is still another hour away. I dropped in earlier pretty much to escape the bitter cold and get a sneak peak at the films on show.
Alia?is the second British Asian artist?making their?American solo debut at?Talwar Gallery. Earlier in 2001 another London based artist, Zarina Bhimji was introduced with her first US solo?exhibition, Cleaning the garden. For Alia’s exhibition Deepak Talwar is showing two of her films – Swan and Spoken Diary.
Spoken Diary, a 14-minute visual poem, intertwines the inner angst of a woman traversing hesitation, loss and denial with that of her journey through dark, wet and desolate streets of London. Interspersed are layers of words emanating from the fleeting movement of the pen on the diary pages while simultaneously being spoken in the third person, distancing the protagonist from the self.
Syed’s works have been shown in many places but this is her first major US opening. Syed lives and works in London, England. In 2002 a major retrospective, Jigar, showcasing selected film works of Alia Syed was organized by inIVA, London, UK and it traveled to The New Art Gallery in Walsall, UK and Turnpike gallery, Manchester, UK. Spoken diary was also featured in the London Film Festival last year.