curated by Ambereen Karamat. Latitude 28 Gallery, New Delhi, February 2 – March 2, 2013.
Ambereen Karamat, of White Turban curated ‘Crossing Over’, a group show comprising of a hand-picked selection of emerging and established artists from Pakistan. The exhibition, using a range of media, featured new works that decontextualized art and challenged boundaries.
See press and photos.
Imran Ahmed Khan
In the last two decades, art from Pakistan has adopted an interesting route, with sharp turning points emerging every few years. Starting off with traditional art works to ‘Contemporary Art in Pakistan’, it covers a very broad and diverse spectrum; new terms like ‘Neo-Miniature’ have cropped up, mapping out the direction that Pakistani Art is leading to. This ‘course’, to me, seems to have come to an intersection, a point, where the new works being produced are effervescing, pushing through each individual’s marked political peripheries. The works, born of different trajectories, have the content embedded in the many layers of their surfaces. This exhibition focuses on these new works at the point that acts as a bridge, a crossing over, to the other direction.
The works chosen for this exhibition, of both established and emerging artists, meet at this transit threshold. With common use of visual references to images that work enigmatically around us in multiple layers, artists have tinged this imperceptible relation between art and reality. Text, used as visual vocabulary, can be exploited (explained) by each viewer in a particular way. The greater the number of ways the text is read, the more meaningful it becomes, sometimes with a hypnotic repetition that we experience in our daily lives, intensifying consciousness and lived experiences. This intensification blurs boundaries and allows the meanings to spread globally. As it branches out, artists interested in understanding the critically global, instead of the parochial issues of genre and identity, venture to explore. The works appear to merge when viewed uprooted from their native soil but gradually diverge creating crossovers with each other on irregularly chartered routes. The more the meeting points, the more accolades the work meets in the mainstream art world.
The works feature coincidental, accidental and unexpected connections, which make it possible to revise art history and, even better, to complement it. Combining seemingly unrelated aspects lead to surprising analogies. By rejecting an objective truth and global cultural narratives, the exhibition creates an unprecedented situation in which the viewer is confronted with the conditioning of their own perceptions and has to reconsider their position.