WhatsApp Image 2017-10-27 at 10.53.25

Tombstones/Katbay

Title of the site specific installation​​TOMBSTONES / KATBAY in Urdu
Medium ​Light boxes made with cardboard, LED light, Inkjet printing on a backlit film with electric wire and a switch
No of pieces ​50 boxes (group of o6) hanged on a wall
Dimension of each box​​​ 6 x 12 x 4 in / 15.24 x 30.48 x10.16 cm
Year​​​​​2017 ​
Venue​Jamshed Memorial (Theosophical Society), Karachi ​​ Zafar’s installation for the Karachi Biennale 2017, Tombstones/Katbay, which he created along with Noman Siddiqui and Hasnain Ali Noonari, explores the silent testimony of tombstones to the context of Karachi. The assiduous process of creating the work began by gathering photographic documentation from 182 graveyards in Karachi, spanning the geographic, ethnic, religious and socio-economic divides of the inherently diverse megacity. Zafar then transposed the selected cenotaphic inscriptions onto cardboard lightboxes – in most cases the deceased’s name, date of birth, and date of death, epitaph, or prayer, at times containing pieces of funerary art in stone relief. In doing so, the artist has created his own microcosm of silent witnesses to Karachi’s historical and contemporary context; a multitude of engraved voices entering into a dialogue between memory and present actuality, each individual playing their own part in the unfolding history of cultural identity and coexistence. A site-specific installation, Zafar’s aesthetically adhesive representation of socio-cultural division, subverted by the collective tolerance of his postmortem community perfectly corresponds to its venue, The Theosophical Society of Karachi, one of the key tenets of which is: “To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or colour.”

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