The Past as Present
Archives have played a role in art-making as a site of inquiry to be investigated and transformed. As we approach the 70th anniversary of the creation of Pakistan, it may be observed that discourse centers largely on questions of fracturing and ruptures which are important notions to be addressed and unpacked. However, what happens after the moment of the rupture or the creation? And how do peripheries operate in this context?
In this exhibition, four emerging practices are placed in dialogue with each other to address notions of who would confused and create anxieties around national narratives through their practice looking at the archive. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s practice investigates notions of masculinity, sexuality and desire through the excavation of newspaper and print archive. Veera Rustomji explores histories of the Parsi community in Karachi whose presence is under erasure. Moonis Ahmad looks at notions of memory and how borders are imagined and understood in this context. Finally Ghulam Mohammad locates the politics of language through the practice of destruction and recreation of the national Urdu language, while not being a native speaker of it. Through these practices the viewer may reflect on how past histories and experiences, especially from margins, may allow us to understand the complex narratives of celebrating the present