‘In the beginning was the Word’- but according to another divine narration, ‘God created man in His own image.’ So what came first, the word or the im

Shahid Sajjad
Editorial July 2014
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‘In the beginning was the Word’- but according to another divine narration, ‘God created man in His own image.’ So what came first, the word or the image? A question that may not be answered by those who, according to Plato, are merely shadows of archetypal forms!


ArtNowhighlights the link between word and image, since the two modes of expression cannot be delinked, or even differentiated in some cases. Images are read and texts invoke imagination; the relationship of art and language is almost conjugal, where the roles of both partners can neither bedemarcated nor separated.


In the context of Pakistan, this issue’s significance arises as the society is bi-lingual (the ‘official language’ English and the ‘national language’ Urdu which also serves as the lingua franca); the dominance of one language affects the presence of the other and the balance – or imbalance – of both has an impact on the way art is perceived, produced and purchased. Language plays a significant role in directing and shaping the aesthetic position and preferences of a nation, and in Pakistan its contribution in shaping visual culture is unavoidable.


In the new format of ArtNow, two writers explore the topic of art vis-à-vis language for the In Focus section. Adnan Madaniexamines the relationship of the two phenomena on a philosophical level, while SaminaChoonara brings a local framework to these concepts. NashmiaHaroon explores the theme through her photo essay where the text, while playing the role of messenger, becomes a message itself. In her narrative in Urdu, RukheNeeloferZaidi discusses the way language, particularly Urdu, formed and moulded the pictorial choices of some of our renowned painters.


ArtNow also brings you Profile, Interview, Reviews of recent exhibitions, and art News from around the world.


The January issue of ArtNowhas incorporated a newformat, new content and new editorial team, because we believe that not only does one have to accept change, one has to initiate it too. As someone said,“If a person does not change his mind, he does not have one!”






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