City Notebook – Conurbations at Arts Council Karachi

HUM TV has a studio on third floor of Arts Council main building which lies abandoned these days. Vasl Artist Association has used the venue to exhibit resident artist Haider Ali’s work which has been produced three month residency at Vasl. The show is remarkable because a) it is a study of urban development in Karachi and its eventual decay b) it is curated very well leveraging the dilapidated conditions of the studio effectively. A fitting combination.

It may not be easy on eyes in the first glance. The paint is peeling off. The floor is covered with debris. There are broken windows. There are plastic pipes scattered across the studio and there are wires dangling down from the roof. There are no curtains and the place is lit up with natural light. It is one hell of a setting. The show consists of photos, paintings, sketches, videos and others, some of which documenting urban development and others investigating nature’s impact on materials used in construction across Karachi.

Hope that Haider Ali continues to produce similar work which can become a documentation of these times and a reference point for artists and scholars to come. Hope that more shows can be curated in this manner where the exhibition space is in sync with the artist’s work and complement it. The only consideration for the organizers could be to extend the duration of such shows since most of the people can’t step out during 9-5 on regular days.

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Categories: City Notebook

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