Poppy Seed

Framing the Local Context

Posted in Exhibitions by ps31 on September 21, 2010

Framing the Local Context (Sept. 18th – 28th, 2010) comes as a response to many young contemporary artists’ anxiety of needing to be known as global artists on an international platform and this anxiety translating into an appropriation of media-churned images and issues. The impetus behind the project was to give participating artists an alternative to the globalized (read Western) ideation through engagement with the local intellectual spectrum. It was to suggest that perhaps one of way of countering the pervasive “Pakistani Muslim” stereotype is to look inward for positive inspiration.

Along with the emerging and mid-career artists participating in the show, namely, Danish Raza, Syed Faraz Ali, Salman Hassan, and Hajra Haider, the renowned Meher Afroz was requested to come on board as a mentor artist. Since Afroz’s entire artistic practice has been very committedly locally rooted, she was helpful in providing a mediating link between the culture revealed through the texts and the actual process of articulating ideas into images.

From February to May 2010, the artists sat through a series of talks which were designed to help them (and me), find points of entry into the local schema through literature, philosophy and language. The program included Asif Farrukhi who read excerpts from Ismat Chugtai, Noon Meem Rashid and other Urdu writers that described the regional notion of what it is to be an artist. Khurram Shafique keyed in on Iqbal and Waheed Murad to make a case for how art and literature can be non-elitist, public enterprises. Dr.Wahab Suri commented on the dangers of getting sucked into what is perceived as a modernist/progressive worldview through Postmodernist critique. Rizwanullah Khan highlighted the differences between traditional Eastern and post-Enlightenment Western attitudes towards making art. Ajmal Kamal reflected critically on the biases embedded in Urdu semantics that are revealed through the process of translation. Dr. Fatema Hassan shared her poetry and the challenges female writers of Urdu have faced in time.

Over the summer, the artists took their notes and interpretations of the series to their studios and the result is the current exhibition, Framing the Local Context.

(Click on each image for larger view)

Meher Afroz. Gulistan Humara I. Graphite, acrylic, thread on Reeves. 19.5″ x 11.25″.

Meher Afroz. Gulistan Humara II. Graphite, acrylic and thread on Reeves. 7.06″ x 11.4″.

Meher Afroz. Gulistan Humara III. Graphite and acrylics on Reeves. 7.06″ x 11.3″.

Meher Afroz. Gulistan Humara IV. Graphite on Reeves. 15″ x 22.25″.

Meher Afroz. Gulistan Humara V. Graphite and thread on Reeves. 15″ x 22.25″.

Meher Afroz. Gulistan Humara VI. Graphite, acrylics and collage. 15″ x 22.5″. red dot

Meher Afroz. Gulistan Humara VII. Graphite, acrylics and collage. 15.25″ x 22.75″. red dot

Danish Raza. Garden of Kali. Acrylics on canvas. 2.5ft x 2.5ft.

Danish Raza. Mother of Lies. Acrylics on canvas. 2.5ft x 2.5ft.

Danish Raza. Killing Targets. Acrylics on canvas. 2.5ft x 2.5ft.

Danish Raza. Sept 2010. Great Serpent of Sorrow. Acrylics on canvas. 2.5ft x 2.5ft.

Salman Hassan. Untitled I. Digital prints on photo paper. Each print 3.5″ x 5″.

 

Salman Hassan. Untitled II. Ink and acrylic on black and white photograph. 4″ x 6″. red dot

Salman Hassan. Untitled III. Ink and acrylic on black and white photograph. 4″ x 6″. red dot

 

Salman Hassan. Untitled IV. Ink and acrylic on black and white photograph. 4″ x 6″. red dot

Salman Hassan. Untitled V. Digital prints on photo paper. Each print 3.5″ x 5″.

 

Salman Hassan. Untitled VI. Ink on black and white photograph. 4″ x 6″.

Salman Hassan. Untitled VII. Ink on digital print. 3.5″ x 5″.

Salman Hassan. Untitled VIII. Ink on black and white photograph. 4in x 6in. 

Salman Hassan. Untitled IX. Digital prints on photo paper. Each print 3.5″ x 5″.

Hajra Haider. Balancing C. Nylon rope. Variable.

Syed Faraz Ali. Icon I. Silk screen and sand paper on canvas. 4ft 7in x 3ft 7.5in. red dot

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