The expanded definition of practice in contemporary art takes in forms of collaborative practice, direct political engagement, social activity and public performance. How do these often temporary actions and alliances relate to the understanding, practice and education of art in Pakistan?
Artistic practice in South Asia is understood to be centred around art schools based in metropolitan cities, providing a generative space for artistic production. Public investment in cultural institutions has been inconsistent with the professionalization and educational investment in art and design. Ideological shifts and limited institutional support constrain the fields of academic research and art historical scholarship.
With the recent arrival of the biennial exhibition, new funding mechanisms are emerging, even as artists take note of the social and political landscape within which they live and work.
How are artists and academics responding to the confluence of critical practice and private financial interests now driving cultural projects in cities such as Karachi? How does the biennial identify and address its audience, and how is the site of the exhibition understood as a dialogic or discursive space? How might we place recent developments against the histories of art practice and exhibition making in South Asia?
This seminar aims to think of ways to combine research, politics and visual culture in the contemporary art world, to explore new geographical and cultural formations from which to advance the decolonial project, and to experiment with models of critical pedagogy that move beyond the conventions of art schools and conventional exhibition formats. This seminar is conceived to offer the community of writers, curators, artists and academics in Pakistan a practice-based platform for sharing current research amongst peers, and will commence with a day of public presentations at Habib University.
The full programme will be announced shortly, participants include Nada Raza, Adnan Madani, Iftikhar Dadi, Mariah Lookman, Saira Ansari, Nausheen Anwar, CAMP, Tentative Collective, Karachi LaJamia, Jyoti Dhar, Saloni Mathur, Samina Iqbal, Fiza Khatri and Sophia Balagamwala. The public programme will be followed by a smaller workshop for visual practitioners, for expressions of interest please email email@example.com
The Karachi Seminar is organised by Tate Research Centre: Asia in partnership with Habib University and the British Council with support from the Lahore Biennale Foundation. Tate Research Centre: Asia has been generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Image Credit: Bani Abidi, from Reserved 2006, Tate. Purchased with funds provided by the South Asia Acquisitions Committee 2014. Image courtesy of the artistView Program