As the holiday spirit subsides, and we head back to planning and executing newer more exciting projects for the upcoming months, on behalf of the ArtNow team I would like to wish all our readers and contributors a very happy and prosperous new year!
In December I attended the Prince Claus Awards 2016. I was delighted to participate in the Cultural Speed Date that encourages interaction between professionals working in the cultural sector, spanning from Architecture & Design to the Performing Arts. More than 200 Dutch and international cultural professionals had the chance to meet, build relationships and share ideas at the Compagnietheater Amsterdam. Many of the past laureates and participants including myself were treated to a viewing of ‘El Anatsui: Meyina’, with a very special introduction from the artist.
The Prince Claus Fund supports artists, critical thinkers and cultural organisations in spaces where freedom of cultural expression is restricted by conflict, poverty, repression, marginalisation or taboos. Annually, the Fund grants Prince Claus Awards to individuals and organisations for their outstanding achievements in the field of culture and development. The festive event was presided over by HRH Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands who presented the awards. One of recipients for 2016 was PeaceNiche | The Second Floor (T2F). My heartiest congratulations and best wishes to Marvi Mazhar and team for further success! I must commend and thank Prince Claus Fund Director Joumana El Zein Khoury and her team for a very well executed event that was enjoyed by all attendees.
The Lahore Biennale Foundation (LBF) looks forward to kick-starting the journey towards Lahore Biennale 01, all set to take place in February 2018. With Artistic Director Rashid Rana at the helm, the biennale will be the first of its kind in the city of Lahore and will stand as a unique juncture in the history of art in Pakistan.
To mark the conclusion of the foundation’s ongoing projects this year, Urbanities – Art and Public Space in Pakistan (in partnership with the Goethe-Institut Pakistan), and Stories We Tell (a collaborative venture between LBF, Beaconhouse National University, and the Centre for Culture and Development), a four-day symposium, City in Context, took place from 1 – 4 December at Alhamra Arts Council, and Annemarie-Schimmel- Haus, Alliance Francaise De Lahore. The symposium presented a mix of workshops, talks, performances, discussions and exhibitions bringing together poets and writers, theoreticians, artists and architects, musicians, activists, urbanists and various other practitioners from diverse fields of study.
City in Context was designed as both a beginning and an end: apart from concluding the foundation’s projects, it also encapsulated Conversation, the first-ever public introductory session pertaining to the Lahore Biennale 01. Exploring various formats for generating conversation and debate around the many aspects of the curatorial vision and process, the event engaged renowned scholars and artists, along with the public. Round table discussions and panel talks brought forth a string of concerns, questions and perspectives that helped expand on several notions critical to the curatorial premise.
Once again, Imran Qureshi does us proud! U.S. Department of State will honor contemporary artists Imran Qureshi, Nick Cave, Jenny Holzer, Wolf Kahn, Pat Steir, and Rachel Whiteread with the International Medal of Arts at the biennial ceremony on January 12 in Washington, D.C. Congratulations Imran!
The Murree Museum Artist Residency published a catalog highlighting its work from 2014 to 2016. It features reviews and overviews of the 3 residencies and the artists who participated. Be sure to get your hands on one! Kudos to Saba Khan for a wonderful job with the residency.
Our latest issue ‘Artist Statements’ discusses and asses the vital role an artist statement holds as a form of communication between an artist and the viewer. It allows the viewer to engage with the artists line of thought in his physical absence. Jamal Ashiqain captures the works of young graduates of Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture, Karachi University and Karachi School of Arts and their first ever artist statements in this month’s Photo Essay.
The end of the year brings a foray of thesis exhibitions. Every year art institutes further push innovative boundaries and present a crop of fresh young minds to the art scene. I look forward to following their progress over the coming years!
The FOMMA Trust concluded the year with “Lullaby” a collaborative two person exhibition featuring illustrator Safwan Subzwari and text based artist Marium Kamal. The exhibition also featured ‘Suspension’ an artistic dance performance by Shaanay Mansur. This year we look forward to our annual fresh graduates’ exhibition along with a comic book exhibition in support of the German Consulate. You can sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date with our events!
Bye for NOW.