Collage on handmade paper
In Ghulam Mohammad’s work, he has tried to explore the relationship between language and identity, in a cultural, historical and contemporary context. The paradoxical nature of language as both the conveyer as well as the limiter of meaning makes it both an additive as well as a subtractive phenomenon. Where language as an essential tool to communicate, it is also that there is much that is lost in the systems and structures of language. This range and limitation of language is one of the concerns that my work engages with.
In Mohammad’s own experience, he has both seen and felt the consequences of being dispossessed of one’s language. The imposition and adoption of another language has violent consequences that can lead to a fragmentation of the relationship with one’s self. This fragmentation, confusion and disorder that seem inescapable and overpowering have also informed my practice.
Carving out words and recomposing them is an act of both representing the internal conflicts of language as well as reconfiguring those relationships in an attempt at a reconstruction of language and identity. The rediscovery of language by freeing it from the page where it is composed in a particular fashion and then recomposing it, changing its meaning, its character as language, is an act of plasticizing language to see what it has the potential to lead to.
Ghulam Mohammad graduated with BFA from the Beaconhouse National University, Lahore, Pakistan in 2013.
Image Courtesy | Ghulam Mohammad