Curated by Hou Hanru and Anne Palopoli
Shahzia Sikander observes the present through the lens of the imagination, symbols, literature and history of diverse cultural traditions. Her rich, complex oeuvre is housed for the first time in an Italian museum with this exhibition that shows the artist’s work from 1990’s to the present day.
In the exhibition the artist creates a layout specifically for the museum with over 30 works in various media and idioms, from drawing to miniatures referring to the Indo-Persian tradition and from video to digital animation. Included are works born from critical thinking and inquiry of historical, literary and political positions that delineate the inherent complexity of universal themes ranging from the pre-colonial to the post-colonial, geopolitical changes, migration, cultural quarantine and the birth of nations and religion and ultimately human identity.
Biennales held all across the World (amounting to a physical sum prestige of over 100 cities so far) play an important role in connecting forlorn landscapes with their shrouded history of arts and culture in order to help build a more inspired and creative society, giving people a sense of who they are and where they’ve come from. The Karachi Biennale 2017 (KB17), a project of the Karachi Biennale Trust (KBT) comprising of a group of diligent curators, art educators and professional enthusiasts, drew to a close on Sunday after two weeks of art exhibits used to bring together diverse communities of the metropolis.
The Karachi Biennale 2017 (KB17) is Pakistan’s largest international contemporary art event set to feature on a holistically large scale platform every two years in Karachi. Beginning this year on October 22, over 160 national and international artists from 34 countries around the globe responded to a common theme: WITNESS – seeking to engage the public by use of art as a lens to conceptualize the city and its concerns. Whether it was the performances at the Frere Hall, or visits to the 12 chosen venues turned into free and public art spaces across the city, the diverse audience of spectators was excited to be a part of a series of discursive sessions that helped them experience culture in an open, secure and engaging environment.