The Work of Contemporary Art and Commemoration: Reading Ali Kazimi’s Fair Play (2014)

Ausgabe #8

In response to this issue’s call to “engage aesthetic processes of remembering,” this paper analyses Fair Play (2014), a stereoscopic 3-D cinema installation by Toronto-based filmmaker Ali Kazimi. Produced in conjunction with the centennial anniversary of the arrival and detainment of the Komagata Maru steamship in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the installation engages in an act of critical commemoration by imagining the lives of members of the South Asian diaspora affected by this incident. I argue that by centering affect within the formal and conceptual framework of the installation, Kazimi produces a decolonial aesthetic that restructures our relationship to this past, bringing to the fore ways of living and knowing that had previously been devalued and violently erased by colonial agendas and neoliberal art historical critiques.