Public art does three things: it sparks joy; it makes you think deeply; and, it gives you hope. And we can say this without a doubt Karachi Biennale ’19 did a remarkable job as a public art event this year! 98 artists from all over the world came up with brilliant art installations, focusing on the devastating ‘development footprint’ on ecology and delivered some important messages to the public.
To give you a glimpse of what Karachi Biennale ’19 looked like, here are some of the art installations displayed at Alliance Française and NED University …
On this Picture You Can See A Local Man Presenting His Jumping Skills by Abdul Halik Azeez (Sri Lanka)
In this art installation, Artist turns to the phenomena of exoticization and tourist consumerism that play out in a relationship with the ongoing tourism boom in Sri Lanka.
The work challenges notions of digital dualism, creating avenues to explore the interplay of social media, political economy and ethnic conflict in contemporary Sri Lanka.
250101 by James Alec Hardy (UK)
Hardy creates an installation of video screens hanging within hammocks. A symphony of low murmuring hums echoes down from the screens – sounding like a cross between a chant and an industrial electronic purr. His aim is to review our relationship with televisions, computer screens and phones. Arguing that the content we consume through them retards our possibilities for spiritual development.
Untitled by Naima Dadabhoy (Pakistan)
The body of work combines the archiving of Dadabhoy’s personal and political histories to examine heritage, gender and colonialism within cultures of migration.
Naima’s childhood memories of her mother are often of her stitching clothes or doing embroidery, crochet and knitting related activities; these memories are woven together in this art.
Forest by Alice Kettle (UK)
For KB 19, Alice Kettle’s project Stitch a Tree creates a new Forest with the expert embroiderers of the region. It celebrates the extraordinary skills of various groups, the distinct styles and stitches of indigenous embroidery. The work valorizes and brings together in one artwork the voice of women embroiderers in Pakistan. The work is made by them, reflecting the distinct identity of Pakistani embroidery and the importance of these women’s contribution to cultural, economic and social life. In the Forest, we come together as one community, using stitch to unify us in a shared language of making
A Drop of Water III, IV by Waseem Ahmed (Pakistan)
This work comprises two large, painted ceramic sculptures. Inspired by the skilled workers of the highly reputed Gorbon Tiles factory in Istanbul, Waseem’s innovative work is representative of the water bottles commonly used by travelers or soldiers when in arid or difficult conditions. The work alerts the viewer to the fragility of our vital resources, but more importantly it also suggests through its medium and fragmented red pieces the manifestation of wounds and threats and violence.
Kiya Jungle mei Mor nacha?
by Simeen Farhat (USA)
This idea is based upon the Urdu/Hindi saying “Jungle mei mor nacha kis ney dekha. (Who saw the peacock dance in the jungle). The question mark at the end of the title signifies that perhaps the peacock may not be able to dance in the rain because its jungle is now made of a jungle of landfills and chaotic population.
In this installation, an urban jungle is created from plastic bottles and trash bags. Peacock feathers have also been used creating a layer of meaning between the duality of beauty and ugliness.