Lost And Found
fiberglass, animal hide, glass eye, yarn
Collection: Samdani Foundation, Bangladesh
Mulji’s work traverses the edge between fact and fiction, questioning ideas of ‘certainty’, and ‘truth’, through the use of digital imaging, reanimating objects through taxidermy, or creating clumsy, hybrid objects. Mulji’s portfolio explores sculpture, photography, drawing, and painting, creating surreal juxtapositions of ‘things’. The works address notions of failure, neglect, the forgotten, the lost, or the dysfunctional. These often play out ironically, from addressing opaque borders, (But what is your country Madam? 2005) to perceptions of aging and isolation (Lost and Found 2012, Ode to a Tubelight, 2011) and dystopic urban expansion. The works are often deliberately awkward and scruffy, imbuing an anti-heroism as a resistance to current cultures of perpetual cleverness, and an unrelenting focus on stardom and celebrity.
Lost and Found has a long sculptural legacy, and conceptual points of departure ranging from Henry Moore’s Fallen Warrior, the 2003 demolition of Saddam Hussein’s Firdos square statue, Marc Quinn’s Alison Lapper Pregnant, the countless victims of state violence across Pakistan, who’s tortured bodies have been found across the country for years, the unclaimed dead bodies that find their way to hospitals and medical college dissection tables, and notions of ageing, loneliness, hunger and humiliation, as they manifest themselves on the human body. The work does not anesthetize trauma, through abstraction, but confronts it, in all its grotesque-ness. Bloated, and deliberately smelly, the work sits on the floor, an anti-monument ‘monument’.
Mulji was born in Karachi in 1970, and completed her Bachelors in Fine Art from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in 1995 and an MFA in 2010 from the Transart Institute, Berlin, and Donau-Universität Krems, Austria. She currently lives in Lahore, and is Associate Professor at the School of Visual Arts, Beaconhouse National University. She has exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally and is the recipient of the Abraaj Group Art Prize, 2013.