Moonis Ahmad (b. 1992, Kashmir) is a visual artist whose practice transverses various media, including installation, sculpture, computer programming, sound, and video. His work conjures the afterlives of the dead and the deceased as a means to speculate the emergence of counter-worlds that challenge established states of power at the margins. These lives, which refuse to die, emerge as specters in his work, challenging the chronological understanding of time and the territorialization of space. Through such phantoms, Moonis speculates alternate ideas of time and being, intersecting various marginalities and temporalities to explore the human condition that is inherently at an outbreak and yet, in a constant state of invisibility and exception. He reinterprets various concepts and materials such as being, archives, and ecological understanding of the land, viewing them as sites of political events, ontological speculation, and militant processes, rather than state monuments signifying national substance.In 2021, he completed his doctoral research at The University of Melbourne. Moonis has exhibited both nationally and internationally, for example, “Anarchic Archive: Spectres of Inconsistency” at The Fiona and Sidney Myer Gallery in Melbourne, Australia, in 2021; “Can You Hear My Voice?” at Northern Centre for Contemporary Art in Northern Territory, Australia in 2022; “Atlas Holding the Heavens” at Vadhera Contemporary in New Delhi, India, in 2019; and “Beyond Boundaries” at Auckland Art Fair in New Zealand in 2018, among others. He has actively participated in various residential programs, including a three-month residency at Stadtgalerie & HSLU in Switzerland, organized by Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council. He was awarded the Schloss Solitude Fellowship, Germany for 2023-24. Moonis Ahmad is one of the co-authors of the publication “Hungry for Time” by Raqs Media Collective, published by Spector Books in 2022. He was the recipient of the Arts House Makeshift Publics Programme 2022-23 in Melbourne, Australia, and the Foundation of Indian Contemporary Art’s Emerging Artist Award in 2017-18. Currently, Moonis is a fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude and works between Stuttgart, Kashmir and Melbourne.
Subjects of satire and violence in the art of Moonis Shah bring to focus the idea of using archival data as a tool to classify and control.
His independence and highly developed sense of social justice, metaphor and meaning, give him an unusual sophistication for his age. As an artist, Moonis creates multi disciplinary works, which traverse video, image, objects, mechanics and courageously: silence. This particularly illuminates his interest in historical erasure. Despite the subject Moonis engages with, he has a highly developed understanding of the absurd and his work often combines a number of elements in an eccentric and humorous way, using irony to critique structures of power.
Moonis has engaged brilliantly in creative and critical discourse investigating the relationship between arts and the public sphere, and working at the intersection of artistic practice and academic research.
July- May 2023-24 | Research Fellow | Schloss Solitude| Stuttgart, GermanyOctober 2023 | Runway Journal Publication, Issue 47: MMORPG| Ed. Riana Head-Toussaint | Melbourne, Australia 2023 | Group Show Curated by Premjish Achari | The Guild| New Delhi, India