PRINT April 2018



Detail of Omer Wasim and Saira Sheikh’s series “The Impossibility of Loving a Stone,” 2017, seventy-two ink-jet prints, each 8 1/4 × 5 1/2".

A COASTLINE has fractal properties, meaning its perimeter is infinite, even though it contains a finite area. While the ramifications of this paradox are reconcilable in Euclidean geometry, it dissolves our fundamental sense of solidity: That visible edge of land is amorphous and indefinite, a consequence of the tides’ erosion, in contrast with the hard, rigid lines of drawn borders. How can the latter be any more than cartographic caprice?

I waded through these porous questions at the fourth edition of the Dhaka Art Summit, a biennial “research and exhibition platform” founded in 2012 by the Samdani Art Foundation in Bangladesh. For nine days this past February, works by more than three hundred artists were on view in ten curated shows. The ocean—with its histories of imperial trade, ideological transfer, cultural communication, and literary metaphor—nominally served as

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