Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

  • Mehreen Murtaza
    born 1986
    active: Pakistan
  • Solstice, 2013
  • Where object was made: Lahore, Pakistan
  • black-and-white single-channel video, 3 minutes 45 seconds
  • Courtesy of the artist and Grey Noise Gallery, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Not on display
  • EL2016.029
  • Loan: Not in the Spencer's collection
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Temporal Turn: Art and Speculation in Contemporary Asia", 11-Nov-2016
Mehreen Murtaza creates meticulously researched artworks that evoke an experiential world. This mesmerizing video weaves together stock footage of the planet Saturn recorded by the unmanned space probes Voyager 1 and 2 and Cassini-Huygens. Voyager 1 and 2, both launched by NASA, encountered Saturn nine months apart in November 1980 and August 1981. By 2012, Voyager 1 had become the first human-made object to enter interstellar space. Cassini-Huygens was launched in 1997 by an international coalition of sixteen European countries and NASA and was specifically designed to explore Saturn. It has remained in orbit around Saturn since arriving in 2004.
The haunting soundtrack that accompanies Solstice incorporates a variety of instruments, including a glockenspiel and a string instrument originating in the Indian subcontinent called a tanpura. The soundtrack also includes the vocals of Shehzad Noor, who sings in the underground Pakistani band The Poor Rich Boys. Together, these elements evoke the lonely, yet alluring depths of space.