Mahtab Hussain Tajvin Kazi and Rishada Majeed
Presented on a billboard at the intersection of Dupont & Dufferin Streets in Toronto, the image Tajvin Kazi and Rishada Majeed continues British artist Mahtab Hussain’s exploration of contemporary Muslim identities. Shot in Toronto in 2021 as part of the series Ocean in a Drop: Muslims in Toronto—a portion of the broader ongoing series Muslims in America—this work echoes Hussain’s outdoor installation of works from the same series, on view May 1 – October 1 at Aga Khan Museum and Park.
In September 2021, Hussain flew to Toronto on a journey towards New York. Following the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, Hussain engaged, photographed, and interviewed young people who define as Muslim on Toronto’s streets. All of Hussain’s sitters grew up after the events of September 11, 2001. His work in Toronto became the first chapter in his project to depict Muslims in North America. Hussain’s intention is to create visibility around the Muslim experience in art and culture, to challenge stereotypes of Muslim representation, and to create a platform for new conversations, between Muslims themselves, and between Muslims and non-Muslims. Hussain’s sitters are people, not subjects; they are full participants in the process. They offer themselves and their presence to both the photographer and the viewer, along with their stories, with both heart and urgency. Hussain has explored Muslim experience and identities through portrait photographs made in the streets over the last 15 years in Britain, alongside other public photography projects in the UK and abroad.
Presented by CONTACT. Supported by PATTISON Outdoor Advertising. Part of ArtworxTO: Toronto's Year of Public Art 2021–2022
Mahtab Hussain (British, b. 1981) explores the important relationship between religious identity, cultural heritage, and social displacement, challenging the prevailing concepts of multiculturalism. Hussain received a BA in History of Art at Goldsmith College, specializing in Fine Art Photography, and an MA in Museum and Gallery Management from City University in London, England. He was awarded an Arts Humanities Research Council Grant and completed an MA in Photography at Nottingham Trent University. Hussain has received numerous awards and commissions and has published four artist books. In 2017, his series You Get Me?, published by MACK Books, won the Light Work Photobook Award.