AS THE LIGHT TURNS” by Omer Wasim opens on Tuesday, 20th November | 5 to 8 p.m. | Koel Gallery
This show locates at its heart weeds, plants, woods, and gardens that act as insurgents in and through their refusal to be categorised, resisting unitary readings of gender, desire, longing, and sexuality. Decidedly post-human in its position, the work develops out of a walk in the forest in the mountains, in the dense of the night, where three individuals have a queer encounter; it then cuts to a garden in Karachi that is brimming with primordial sexuality; and further zooms into the interaction of two trees that communicate, in their own way, an embodied desire. Here, the turn of the light is significant not only for Cestrum nocturnum to conjure its scent, but for queerness to surface in, around, and with trees. The work is centred around a publication, which is pieced into thirteen parts, and the accompanying visual and sensory components make visible, activate, obscure, redact, complicate, and situate the text—also hoping to resist unitary readings in their own way.
Omer Wasim is a multidisciplinary artist based in Karachi. His solo practice is anchored around the subversive potential of queerness, which he applies to urban and developmental milieus, as well as their effects on, and interactions with, nature. His collaborative practice with Saira Sheikh aims to reconfigure, re-articulate, and disrupt existing and complacent modes of artistic engagement and production. He teaches at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture; serves on the Editorial Board of Hybrid, and will edit its third issue. He graduated with a BFA in Interdisciplinary Sculpture with a concentration in Video and Film Arts, and an MA in Critical Studies from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
His collaborative works have been shown at the Dhaka Art Summit (2018); Rossi & Rossi, London (2018); Gandhara-Art Space, Karachi (2018); Aicon Gallery, New York City (2018); Karachi Biennale (2017); Cairo Video Festival (2017); and CICA Museum, Gimpo (2016).