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‘Probable Disbeliefs’ — A dialogue between mathematics and visual arts

By News Desk
September 19, 2022

The Canvas Gallery is hosting an art exhibition featuring works by Aroosa Rana. Titled ‘Probable Disbeliefs’, the show will run at the gallery until September 22.

“Patterns of thought usually correspond to the time period they belong to. However, time itself is a nebulous constellation of ideas, which brings notions of conventional chronology in the forming of ideas into questions and leads to new ways of making,” the catalogue released by the gallery quotes the artist as saying.

“With the intention to identify fresh forms of production and expand my practice across disciplines, I question a work’s category, nomenclature and classification,” she says.

“A video may also be a painting or sculpture simultaneously; a work may be two-, three- and four-dimensional at the same time; a moment or image can be still or in motion at the same time; and a media-based work can allude to a sculpture or a mundane object of routine.”

She says that the work also challenges the notion of space and dimensionality, and blurs the line between the physical and the virtual; hence, often making it interdisciplinary at its core.

“In this recent series, titled ‘Probable Disbeliefs’, I initiated a dialogue between mathematics and visual arts, and the works are an outcome of this integration,” Aroosa says.

“Mathematics by definition is a subject that deals with numbers, shapes, logic, quantity and arrangements. Mathematics teaches to solve problems and find solutions based on numerical calculations. Art offers a space to initiate debates of poetics, self-expression and functionality,” she adds.

“I try to explore the possibilities of making based on measured equations of probability. ‘Probable Disbeliefs’ is a proposed solution to a problem which is visual in nature. It employs the simple mathematical equation of probability,” she explains.

“Probability by definition is the total favourable outcome of an event over the total number of possible outcomes of the event. The chance that a given event will occur constitutes of 50 per cent favourable outcomes, 50 per cent unfavourable outcomes and an inherent impossibility.”

In view of these possibilities, she constructed images of the probable and the improbable events within this mathematical equation. “In the language of statistics, an impossibility is just an impossibility, a non-reality, far from logic, whereas in visual arts, even impossibilities have numerous images and unlimited forms.”

So, she asks, what is the absolute truth in such scenarios? “How is reality manufactured? Is it the ultimate calculated truth with no image but an idea? Or a calculated truth with images of the idea? Possible or regardless of it being possible or impossible!”

Aroosa Naz Rana is a critically acclaimed interdisciplinary visual artist. She has shown her work at many national and international venues, including public shows at museums.

The venues where her works have been shown include Museo Diocesano Carlo Maria Martini in Italy’s Milan, 7 Mediations Biennale Polska Koncepcja in Poland, Museo Capitolare di Atri in Italy, Colombo Art Biennale in Sri Lanka, Dhaka Art Summit in Bangladesh, Mississauga Celebration Square in Canada, Gallery Latitude 28 in India, and Collateral Event at Lahore Biennale.

Her practice revolves around challenging the construct of the 20th century’s definition of art, and provides to initiates the debate of its poetics, functionality and its relationship with the view, the viewed and the viewer.

She works mostly in digital media and video art with inter-visuality and interdisciplinarity as her main concerns. She lives and works in Lahore, teaching at the Beaconhouse National University, where she is an assistant professor in the visual arts department.