Mehra's research-fueled practice explores marginalization, otherness and – what she calls – the empty promise of diversity. Through appropriating, editing and reassembling a variety of literary, comedic and musical sources, she creates an acerbic dialogue on the construction and consumption of race and identity politics. Often foregrounding the ongoing struggle with her personal diasporic identity and cultural expectations, she calls into question our own unexamined beliefs.
There are many unsettling moments in Mehra’s new works – trauma, isolation and death are transformed into darkly humorous visual cues, made up of new sculptural and text-based work. Territories are pirated, sloganeering is filtered through a promethazine haze and currency is transformed into a men’s tracksuit.
Mehra's work explores a dialogue and discourse limited only by our apprehension to perceived difference, and our hyper-willingness to have it immediately labeled and classified. Focusing on this difference the exhibition presents multiple perspectives and potential readings, which open up an endless assortment of political, emotional and physiological interpretations of the contemporary experience of difference.
Divya Mehra was born in Winnipeg, MB, 1981 and received her MFA from Columbia University, School of the Arts, New York, USA. Mehra’s work has been included in a number of exhibitions and screenings across North America and overseas, most notably with Creative Time, MoMA PS1, MTV, and The Queens Museum of Art (New York), MASS MoCA (North Adams), Plug In ICA (Winnipeg), Artspeak (Vancouver), Images Festival (Toronto), The Beijing 798 Biennale (Beijing), Bielefelder Kunstverein (Bielefeld), and Latitude 28 (Delhi). Recent publications featuring her work have appeared in print and online through: The New York Times, Art in America, whitewall Magazine, Vogue India, Border Crossings Magazine, Hyperallergic, Blouin Art Info, BlackFlash, and Canadian Art. Mehra is represented in Toronto by Georgia Scherman Projects and currently divides her time between Winnipeg, Delhi, and New York.