For Marx and his followers, the arts produced under capitalism does nothing to harmonise the faculties but instead simply keep people immune to their suffering. Real artists should therefore use their art to disharmonise the faculties and awaken people to their pain. For the political stance of the arts, thus its aesthetic restoration, it is necessary to give the conscious artist an agency. By their ‘passionate involvement’ in humanity, and uncompromising engagement with social reality, they become ‘ideologists who pierce the veil of false consciousness.’
Akin to the Webinar period, Institutions such as Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture, Karachi, also commonly known as IVS, are striving to address the collective consciousness of the society. Last time round, the young graduates showcased some of the pressing issues through their creative works, which were thought-provoking, particularly at the soul level. This time, where one could see similar themes, the integration of the self within the works was what stood out for me. A stroll through the works of fine artists is what it takes to find pieces of yourself in the subtle details of expression that emulate what holds true for all. The exhibition provided the audience with a unique opportunity to connect with the thesis projects and the students who developed them. The six-day event display was attended by many high school students interested in applying to IVS, as well as potential employers and art and design lovers who attended the event to gain a peek of the learning and work created. There were also beaming parents of the youngsters whose art was on exhibit, all of whom were ecstatic with their children’s achievements. Creativity, expression, and innovation all took centre stage during the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture (IVS) Degree Show, which opened its doors to the public to present the graduating class’s thesis works in December of 2022. You! takes a look…
Schajya Siddiqui’s paintings alluded to the lack of freedom through the image of a cat pet that is given all the comforts, yet is imprisoned within the four walls. Her surreal take on the spaces of her home is a reflection of how she interacts with the compositions, seeking comfort and also a peak into the unknown. For a creative practitioner, who strives to achieve a union between the super-sensible world of reason and freedom; critical evaluation of their research findings, sources, and practice becomes integral. By practicing critical theory, the creative individual can promote factual reality and an idealised version of reality and in doing so, bind ‘practice/theory’ together.
Fatima Nadeem through her installation ‘Why does survival weigh so heavy on small things?’ envisioned an exaggerated form of nature that coexists within her lived spaces and survives without decay. Through the creation of a fantastical experience, she draws attention to the lack of serenity and nature in her urban home and finds refuge in an imaginative realm that finds its premise in an ideal habitat.
Beautifully laid on our rooftops with amicable precision and perfection of a medium, Numra Reham tried to create a sense of belonging to a new city through a space that served as her haven but doesn’t offer the same comfort anymore. The multi-coloured layering of pastels captured a time-based experience conveying the existence of life that belies the unknown. Even though the ideas are the same, these have been contextualised within space and time to transform existing ways of thinking. By critically questioning their practice, while simultaneously unlearning, works of art produce relevant work that addresses the dichotomies that exist within themselves and the outside world.
The video installation by Alisha Sohail, focused on ‘withdrawal’ spaces for women that have been long associated with the dead. Taking a feministic approach, she reimagined her space and questioned the paradoxical relationship of security and confinement entrenched in the structures of her home. According to Burckhardt, art has always been a product of its time and could only be historically understood if it was mapped against a larger panorama of cultural, social, and especially literary meaning.
As a reflexive practice, the arts’ role is to help us move forward, and equip us to instigate transformative outcomes. Bilal Ahmed, a young enthusiast, captures the deep-seated metaphorical and literal struggle he faces in his everyday affairs due to his disability through the performativity process of sculpting. He explores the idea of dead weight that stems from an inquiry of his self and relegates some of the weight through his work.
All in all, the body of work produced by the students contained real traces of human touch, something that is frequently lacking from the commercial design of our nation. While some may claim that visual recreations of memory are best built in contemporary art studios, it may be argued that the ancient stone structure with lofty ceilings and lingering visions of skill is what creates an excellent campus for an art school.