Manora Field Notes, Naiza Khan

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Manora Field Notes, Naiza Khan

  Works in the first gallery respond to an archival weather report from 1939 - The India Weather Review - which Khan retrieved from the dilapi

Highlights from Karachi Biennale, 2017
From the archives: Under the blue sun
Karachi Smiles

 

Works in the first gallery respond to an archival weather report from 1939 – The India Weather Review – which Khan retrieved from the dilapidated Manora Weather Observatory, a nineteenth-century British colonial structure. The review is a factual record of the aftermath of storms across British India, with the cities listed now spread across three nations, the socio-politics of which are often in a state of flux.

 

The artist selected particular cities listed in the report to extract and digitally map via research engines and imaging software. Combining modern technologies and traditional artistry, these contemporary maps were laser cut into Plexiglas and hand-cast into brass by artisans in Golimar, Karachi.

 

In the pavilion’s courtyard The Doorbeen – a sculptural installation in the form of a telescope – encourages visitors to consider different points of view. Taking as its reference the telescopes set up for local tourists on Manora’s beach – the apparatus is a symbol of the artist as mediator, and provides a space for critical reflection.

 

The exhibition concludes with Sticky Rice and Other Stories, a four-channel film installation created using footage taken by Khan on Manora Island over a decade. The film’s conversations reveal local histories and modern methods of commerce, reiterating the frictions between labour and production and between slow and fast technologies.

 

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