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Huma Bhabha sitting in her studio

This program is online only (via YouTube and the Hirshhorn website). While Talking to Our Time programs are traditionally live, this talk with Huma Bhabha is pre-recorded.
Register in advance now! Advance registration is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about viewing the talk.

As her towering, otherworldly sculpture We Come in Peace (2018) looms over the Hirshhorn Museum’s Sculpture Garden, Pakistani-born artist Huma Bhabha joins Hirshhorn associate curator Anne Reeve to discuss how found materials, pop culture, sci-fi, and her experiences as an immigrant have shaped the compelling figures that have come to define her practice.

Bhabha’s striking sculptural characters have often been referred to as post-apocalyptic and/or alien, and film—especially pulp horror and science-fiction—has proven to be an important touchstone for her work. This sculpture’s title, We Come in Peace, is drawn from the famous 1951 cinematic feature The Day the Earth Stood Still, directed by Robert Wise, in which an alien landing upon the White House lawn says, “We have come to visit you in peace.” The artist originally conceptualized the piece in response to a commission from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where We Come in Peace was first installed as part of a rooftop mise-en-scène with another of her new works, Benaam, in 2018.

Huma Bhabha, We Come in Peace, 2018. Installed in the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden July 2020. Photo by William Andrews.

Huma Bhabha, We Come in Peace, 2018. Installed in the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden July 2020. Photo by William Andrews.

CART (real-time captioning) will be provided for this program. If you have any questions about accessibility for this program, please email hirshhornexperience@si.edu.

This virtual event is part of Talking to Our Time, the Hirshhorn’s online series of free artist talks featuring a diverse group of artists and collectives. View all events!

This event is also part of #HirshhornInsideOut, the Museum’s initiative to bring art into your home.

This program will be recorded and made available following the event. You will find it on this page and on our YouTube channel.


September 23, 2020
7:00 pm–8:00 pm
Event Category:


Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Hirshhorn Museum, Independence Ave SW & 7th St SW
Washington, DC 20560 United States


Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden