“The kind of library is made for me. I can decide to pass a whole day there in bliss: I read the papers, take the books down to the bar, then I go to look for some more. I make my discoveries, having gone into work on say British Empiricism; I start to follow commentaries on Aristotle instead. On getting the floor wrong, I find myself in an area, I hadn’t thought to enter, on medicine, but then I suddenly find works on Galen and hence complete with philosophical references. In this sense the library becomes an adventure.”
- Umberto Eco
An essay by Umberto Eco titled "Di Bibliotheca" (The Library) which was read at a conference held in March 1981 on the 25th Anniversary of Bibliotheca Comunale in Milano at Palazzo Sormani. It was subsequently published in Quaderni di Palazzo Sormani in 1981
Cyra Ali, Onaiz Taji, Samya Arif and Sara Khan will be exhibiting in the first show. This exhibition is the second part of the series.
The exhibition is curated by Malika Abbas with Amna Naqvi serving as a curatorial advisor.
Proposals towards a new architecture
23 March, 2017
A continuing investigation into the changing face of the city through measures of policing, securitization and urban regulation manifested in the barricades and barriers that have come to form a kind of 'soft architecture'™ of Karachi, this ongoing body of work presents itself as a witty series of proposals that attempt to formulate an integrated architecture of the city through new possible configurations of urban dwellings and structural formations.
WHAT IS SEEN AND NOT SEEN WITH OR WITHOUT SEEING
09 February, 2017
WHAT IS SEEN AND NOT SEEN WITH OR WITHOUT SEEING is a subjective survey of drawing as a reflective process which extends beyond sensory perception. It reviews the trajectory of an idea as it transforms from 'being' into 'becoming' (visual/physical manifestation of the idea), the transformation of the intangible into tangible, irrespective of the tools utilized to aid this process. This exhibition marks the beginning of a long term project tracing the trajectory of drawing practices in the contemporary art of Pakistan. It is specific in its selection of artists who have all been trained at the same institution, following a train of thought which has matured and branched out in distinct and diverse practices. It documents the inspirations and influences which have evolved in a language of its own over the last three and a half decades. Conceived and curated by Hajra Haider Karrar the exhibition features some of the most prominent names in the contemporary art of Pakistan, Zahoor Ul Akhlaq, Anwar Saeed, Quddus Mirza, Adeel Uz Zafar, Mohammad Ali Talpur, Ayaz Jokhio, Fahd Burki, Ali Kazim, Rehana Mangi, Noor Ali Chagani, Sara Khan and Hammad Gillani.
Traces of the Famliar
22 December, 2016
Ayesha Zulfiqar's new body of works represents her experiences of traversing between known and unknown paths where her memory is embodied in material and spatial conditions. The desire to transform the ephemeral and temporal into containable physical embodiments stems from an urge to revive lived moments in order to abate this longing. It is perhaps in resistance to accepting a foreign condition, the unease with the unknown where one tends to introspect and delve within in search of an intimate and known realm. The ritual of drawing her room repetitively from different viewpoints, documenting each detail and alteration over the years she lived there becomes an exercise in permanence establishing and giving life to the familiar An archive of reassurance - a physical manifestation of her primary construct. Now inhabiting these confines her focus extends beyond the material objects to the empty, invisible and connecting space in the middle, the spaces of circulation which capture her attention and are deemed to hold the same value as the material objects.
'How we mark the land'
27 October, 2016
The act of cartography, while seemingly utilitarian and benign, has been a powerful way of documenting and marking territory as a means of exploration, control and conquest. Artists from Pakistan have explored the possibilities and limitations of this practice since Partition - the creation of which was also the result of arbitrary demarcation. This exhibition brings together disparate and diverse practices exploring how artists have been inspired by, addressed and critiqued the notion of cartography and representation through exploring its limitations and reappropriating its ability to discipline and control. In their experiments they have subverted hegemonic practices and reimagined new forms of visuality and seeing. They have grappled with and addressed complex issues of home, colony, belonging and transcendence.
Through the high walls and closed gates
18 August, 2016
Through the high walls and closed gates.. Farida Batool traverses the political urban landscape presenting contrasting realities through the dichotomy of before and after moments; the temporality of the present and the transformation of history and memory through erasure. By juxtaposing her experiences with those of others encountered along the way, she comments on the cultural and political turmoil of the present day. The selection of lenticular technique as her medium of choice allows her to create these visible shifts in her narrative which allow the work to be navigated in multiple ways.
The most amount of people standing still, screaming & laughi
14 July, 2016
The most amount of people standing still, screaming & laughing. The pioneer video artist of Pakistan, Bani Abidi unfolds layers of the interwoven web of complex structures inherent in her native city. Her videos and photographs are a social commentary on the politics and culture of a faulty system. The slow moving satirical and often absurd visuals, at times accompanied with text, are the artist take on persisting and prevalent behaviors portraying the failures and triumphs of living in a struggling neo liberal society.
Through the rearview mirror and the looking glass
12 May, 2016
through the rearview mirror and the looking glass. Risham Syed has the innate ability to convey complex narratives by creating re-enactments of everyday life, whether by painting a dull faÃ§ade or through seemingly routine objects, which draw connections between imperial histories and the neo colonial present. There is a constant back and forth between the past and the present, where she encapsulates the wide span between two eras into a moment, of reflection and realization simultaneously.
Gandhara Art 2016
22 March, 2016
From emerging talents to the Modern masters of both Asia and the West, Art Basel in Hong Kong traces twelve decades of art history across its six sectors: Galleries, Insights, Discoveries, Encounters, Magazines and Film. On display will be the highest quality of paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs, video and editioned works from the 20th and 21st centuries, by more than 3,000 artists from Asia and around the globe. The show will also offer extensive opportunities for intellectual discovery, through discussions and presentations, creating a platform of cross-cultural exchanges for artists, gallerists, collectors, and visitors. Gandhara is showcasing the works of: Adeel Uz Zafar Atif Khan Khadim Ali, Olivia Fraser, Murad Khan Mumtaz & Sher Ali
Is she a Spinner of Yarns
25 February, 2016
Is She a Spinner of Yarns. This show encompasses three artists works, which despite having a strong medium connection are visually poles apart! Using the thread as a form of drawing each artist tells a unique narrative. Cyra Ali uses it to question social and gender biases. Samina Islam is using thread in her paintings to form a feminine voice and Imrana Tanveer talks of a more Glocal (Global and Local) landscape, a world transmuting in the form of weaves.
14 January, 2016
Ancient Artefacts,Contemporary Potteries & Interpretive Artworks. A photographic Exhibition on the Indus Valley Civilization with featured potteries of Muhammad Nawaz and Sheherezade Alam. This exhibition was a component of the Rediscovering Harappa: Through the Five Elements. An exhibition was conceived and put together by the Inheriting Harappa Project team under the direction and with the curatorial skills of Dr. Tehnyat Majeed. The project was fortunate to have the institutional support of the Lahore Museum. And finally, the major impetus was provided by the UNESCO International Fund for Promotion of Culture (IFPC) Award, and was brought to Karachi with the support of AAN Foundation.
More Than Meets the Eye
17 December, 2015
@Gandhara-art Space Karachi 17th December 2015 - 12th January, 2016 Arif Mehmood Alia Bilgrami Emaan Rana Hina Farooqui Farid Alvie Curated by Malika Abbas Artists have always pushed technical and conceptual boundaries to constantly evolve their art. Photographers in particular have always been interested in exploring alternative processes. However with the advancements in digital technology currently, the availability of the materials required for these processes is close to impossible. Furthermore applications and filters currently exist to achieve effects that previously employed tedious methods and techniques. This show discusses how artists are using methods of this digital age to experiment with technique and keep the ethos & passion for alternative photography alive.
Pretty Can Be Gritty
01 October, 2015
The works of art in this exhibition are lush in their treatment and yet the issues of urbanization these attempt to engage with are not a local, but a global phenomena. A 'glocal' phenomena, which is dealt with a light touch of irony and a sprinkle of satire. Saba Khan's uses kitschy materials to create satirical paintings depicting layered deserts and houses. Sara Khan uses bullet holes to symbolise body piercings in portraiture and reveals violence in contemporary society while Sausan Saulat's paintings of utilitarian objects on flower-adorned wallpaper pushes this paradox even further.
06 August, 2015
Living in three separate continents, Khadim Ali (Australia), Sher Ali (Afghanistan) and Mahwish Chishty (USA) are reconnecting with their personal history through this collaborative exhibition that examines transition of decade-long 'war on terror'. Underlying concerns such as demonizing the political foe, the embodiment of good and evil by the superior and inferior, respectively, has been a common thread throughout history and across cultures and societies. The forces and groups representing "the superior/good" have used every available means and opportunities to suppress "the inferior/evil", without being accountable to any stakeholders. They have also defined and re-defined the terms of any social, cultural, economic and political relations between themselves and "the other", as they have manipulated the religious and historical narrations to maintain the status quo.
The Science of Taking a Walk
21 May, 2015
The Science of Taking a Walk Navigating/ (Re) Navigating - Forming Trajectories Curated by Hajra Haider Karrar. Duration of the Exhibition : May 21 - July 10 May 21 at 5:00pm to Jul 10 at 8:00pm in UTC+05 Artists Bani Abidi Farida Batool Yaminay Chaudhry Naiza Khan Shalalae Jameel Seher Naveed & Seema Nusrat... Fazal Rizvi Omer Wasim People can see nothing around them that is not their own image; everything speaks to them of themselves. Their very landscape is animated. Obstacles were everywhere. And they were all interrelated, maintaining a unified reign of poverty. -Karl Marx The artists'™ curiosity often takes him / her to navigating unknown paths or (re)navigating paths known. The trajectory formed is one that varies with the artistsâ€™ observations and interests. Physical aspects of the space or cultural mannerisms/ behaviourisms, what is it that clicks with the artist and becomes a point of departure and entry. How are the points/stations determined in this trajectory? Is the collective subconscious at play while these new associations are being established? Foreign lands or personal domain can both be challenging in this regard, personal domain maybe even more so, since unlearning or disregarding certain knowledge and habits maybe required in order to starting afresh. How these trajectories are then translated so that glimpses of the artists'™ experience are made available to be experienced by the viewer? Is the viewer then able to see through the lens of the artist and relate/ recognize/ associate with his experience? These are some of the questions which will be explored in this exhibition.
15 March, 2015
From emerging talents to the Modern masters of both Asia and the West, Art Basel in Hong Kong traces twelve decades of art history across its six sectors: Galleries, Insights, Discoveries, Encounters, Magazines and Film. On display will be the highest quality of paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs, video and editioned works from the 20th and 21st centuries, by more than 3,000 artists from Asia and around the globe. The show will also offer extensive opportunities for intellectual discovery, through discussions and presentations, creating a platform of cross-cultural exchanges for artists, gallerists, collectors, and visitors. Gandhara is showcasing the works of: Adeel Uz Zafar Atif Khan Khadim Ali Noor Ali Chagani Muhammad Zeeshan Saira Wasim & Sher Ali
12 February, 2015
Atif Khan & Damon Kowarsky at Gandhara-Art Space Karachi In 2012 Damon Kowarsky and Atif Khan worked together at the National College of Arts Lahore to produce 'Hybrid I', a series of 20 hand printed etchings. Where the first project investigated Pakistan 'Hybrid II' took 'Commonwealth' as its theme and looked at the shared cultural heritage of Pakistan and Australia. These links are evident in part through the countries' shared colonial histories, and the post-independence establishment of national identities and images. The images in 'Hybrid II' were developed in a back and forth process. Because the artists are in separate countries much of this exchange was by email. Each month the artists exchanged images that were then transformed by the other artist to produce a true hybrid of ideas. The back and forth negotiation meant that the overall concept was open to development and transformation. Cohesion across the suite was maintained by adhering to pre-determined sizes. The printmaking process, with its technical focus on ink, paper and metal, helped unify the different artistic elements into a whole. The first part of the project took place via email from January to September 2014. Each exchange referred to the previous ideas, or branched out into new areas. Nearly 30 drawings, resulted, of which 25 were selected for the final project.