Mehreen (Lali) Khalid (born Rawalpindi, Pakistan; lives Ithaca, NY) holds a BFA from the National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan and an MFA from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. She is Assistant Professor at Ithaca College, NY. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions at venues, including Pratt Institute; Bay College, Escanaba, MI; Michigan Tech, Houghton; Ithaca College; Marquette Arts & Culture Center, MI; Argenta Gallery, North Little Rock, AR; as well as Nomad Art Gallery, Islamabad, Pakistan; and Alhamra Arts Council and National College of Arts, both Lahore, Pakistan. She has received grants and awards including the Faculty of Color Equity Grant and Pendleton Research and Development Grant from Ithaca College, the 45th Annual Light Work Grant and a Fulbright Fellowship, among others. Her work is in the collections of Light Work, Syracuse, NY as well as the Fondazione Aria, Pescara, Italy; United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan, Islamabad and Koel Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan.
Statement from the artist:
Any juxtaposition of text and image will generate a discourse, perhaps even a tension. The words in my work are excerpted from numerous letters of contempt, emails, texts, and legal notices served to me. Combined with photographs of my son and me, I can address the issues I am prevented from addressing elsewhere. Through these juxtapositions I ask, why did someone else have to decide my future, a future that I had fought so hard for? What does justice for all mean? What is freedom from fear? What makes some of us freer than others? Do we feel free by not knowing and detaching ourselves from others? Since 2017, I have been summoned to the courts in Michigan consistently and have experienced the absurd bias of the legal system. Motions have been filed, hearings scheduled, testimonies given, and judgements made. Silently screaming, I have often wondered why my voice is not being heard. This ruthless process, where I am a number, not a name, has made me fathom and somewhat accept the difference; the difference others see. I have been in America for more than a decade, but somehow, for this society I remain a question, still in the process of being formulated.