The work of art in the age of biennale offers new ways to approach, unfold and understand it. The meaning is not always contained in the context and location or rooted in the issue of identity. The fact that biennales – and triennials for that matter – are associated with a particular city, but these comprise of artists from across the globe, certifies and solidifies the sole importance of individual in the realm of artistic expression.
Yet that individual chooses his/her links, and points of departure, sufficing new meanings and new ways to connect with the work of art with each new contact. Arguably the contact adds the context. Therefore, works of art, seen at a biennale, let’s say in Lahore, would be different if viewed at another site. Location, audience, and period contribute to expand a work which is already been created (and shown) somewhere else. Akin to a book, which with every reading turns into a different piece of literature.
Biennales in a sense break the barriers of multiple dimension, strength, purpose, primarily the prejudice of inclusiveness and exclusiveness. Lahore Biennale 02, curated by Hoor Al Qasimi, brings artists who are dealing with issues and concerns ‘between the sun and the moon’, as well as extending the hemisphere of art, to localities, areas, and neighbourhoods, which – though being worthy of art, never experienced it to that extent/scale.
Impressive not only in its scale and scope, Lahore Biennale 02, provides the opportunity to experience works of artists, who despite being from certain places, belong to the republic of international aesthetics; speak in a language that is global, with their individual accents.
The present issue of Art Now Pakistan, is also a form of conversation, with Biennale, of Biennale, and for Biennale – because an art event of that magnitude and magnificence is a way to enter into the minds and studios of artists – through public places, art spaces and historic monuments of Lahore, a city that in the words of Mohsin Hamid, pays tributes to poets, is now paying homage to visual artists too, like Art Now Pakistan.