High Noon (IV)
Today we present the last of the artists from the visual essay in our issue, which was a collaboration with the arts organisation Green Cardamom. We selected fourteen contemporary Pakistani artists and have been displaying their work online. If you’ve missed previous instalments, see the links below. You can find out more about Green Cardamom on their website, and keep up to date with their projects by visiting their Facebook page.
Kazi in NoMansland, 2008
Set of 5 digital prints, 6 x 61cm each. Installation of postage stamps from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, sizes variable, displayed on white plinth. 30 x 30 x 100cm. Image courtesy of the artist and collection of Raffi Vartanian. Commissioned for Lines of Control, a Green Cardamom project.
STAMP INSTALLATION: Three sets of stamps, from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, all bearing the image of Kazi Nazrul Islam, a revolutionary poet claimed by all three nations as a national symbol.
SET OF FIVE DIGITAL PRINTS: The first four images are of the fierce, grimacing eyes of Nazrul as he was forced to pose for official photographs, unable to voice his refusal due to a mysterious disease which affected his speech and memory. The last image is of General Ziaur Rehman of Bangladesh at Nazrul’s official funeral, which took place in Bangladesh against his own wishes and those of his family in India.
Naeem Mohaiemen is from Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan. Visit his website here
AHMED ALI MANGANHAR
Acrylic and oil on slate, 18 x 22.5cm each. Slates and chalk are used widely in rural and lower-income government school environments as rudimentary writing materials. History, erasures, memory and nostalgia are all themes that the artist explores. The top figure is Seth Naomul Hotchund – a prominent Hindu trader rewarded by the British for his services to the Crown and considered a traitor by Muslim landlords and Talpur rulers of Sindh in the nineteenth century.
Read more about Ahmed Ali Manganhar on the Green Cardamom website
MOHAMMAD ALI TALPUR
Printer’s ink on paper, 75 x 55cm. Talpur used a mechanical printing press as an instrument to ‘draw’, varying the process to produce a series of works based on the form of the common exercise book. Although produced by a machine, the work registers a strong presence of the artist’s hand and his desire to subvert the predictable. This particular piece combines the formats used to write in Urdu (upper half) and in English (lower half), reversing the linguistic and class order determined by access to education.
See here for information on Mohammad Ali Talpur’s past exhibitions
Buy our Pakistan issue today by clicking here
See also... our cover for the issue, a special commission made to Karachi-based truck artist Islam Gull. Web exclusives include a new translation of a short story by Saadat Hasan Manto, ‘Road to Chitral’ – Azhar Abidi’s travelogue and meditation on Pakistan’s cycle of violence – and ‘Power Failure’, Bina Shah’s essay on the ongoing electricity crisis in Karachi.