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Contemporary Anxieties | The body & its politics

 

Vasl Artist Association in collaboration with IVS Gallery held a show on March, 14th, 2019, curated by Omer Wasim and Seher Naveed. The show engaged with artists who used the human body or implied it to communicate current tensions. The artworks themselves communicated amongst each other, highlighting violence, indifference, excess and inequality of gender.

 

One such artist who emphasised how a woman’s body is handled as a vessel through her sculptural piece was Nausheen Saeed. She created a link between the body and daily objects. Saeed’s “Condensed” sculpture  is a cross-over of the female body and milk cans referring to how this vessel contains the most pure and basic necessity for a new life while highlighting how both are manhandled.

 

Another artist who used a daily life element was Ayesha Jatoi. Through her installation, “Clothes Line” Jatoi spoke about how the public monuments are of missiles and fighter planes turning it into a “dirty laundry” where the insight of the county was to pride over violence. Jatoi, through her performance, hung washed red cloth to counter washing  loved-ones clothes; a private act juxtaposed with a barbaric one.

 

Farooq Soomro through his documentation speaks about the decay of public spaces from unnatural causes. Soomro’s continued work “Gora Qabrustan” is a series of documented pieces of sculptors mutilated by being broken, or have red paint splashed over it.

 

Another artist who used documentation, Annie Muqtadir, speaks about day-to-day struggles articulated in newspapers. Muqtadir, with newspapers as her source, use the method of pen on archival paper to remake the imagery of the newspaper in black and white blocks, where the suggestion of people stands out in black.

 

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto used the images of Pakistani wrestlers in the development of his series, “Tomorrow We Inherit the Earth” and re-interprets the narratives into a new belief, which imagines the fictitious queer uprising from Asia and Africa. Bhutto uses the figures in monotone screen print in correlation with the bright embroidery and printed fabric, which seamlessly are cut outs with dominating dialogues and figures of wrestlers.

 

Saba Khan derived her inspiration from society; using beads, wires and thread in her pieces, she highlights society’s flaws through humour and satire. The importance of rickshaw can be seen in one of her pieces “Not so wise one”. Khan, marks out how the rickshaw-space is competed for advertisements making rickshaws as billboards for cult religious groups.

 

Zahra Asim through her small detailed oil paintings reflected upon her personal experience. Asim presented these paintings as snapshots of ordinary things cramped together in a house environment for her to survive in a big environment with just enough for the viewer to imagine the presence of a figure.

 

The artists used their personal experiences and thoughts provoked by the surrounding environment as a drive to execute their work through artistic expression. The visuals are relatable and intriguing as they create a reflective understanding between the viewer and the artwork. The show will continued at the IVS Gallery till 28th March, 2019.

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