the work that will probably never end

Solo show | Grey Noise Gallery, Lahore | 2010

The s.a. Project launch takes into account a pre-existing debate that I have been engaged in for the past 2 years with my tutors and fellow artists at the Masters program of Visual Arts at the National College of Arts, Lahore.

it has been my unconventional practice – and the responses to it over the years – which have forced me to look at the functionality of educational institutes, as well as galleries and the print media. There is a contrived idea of what art and creativity should be and many artists find themselves adhering to these commercially viable stereotypes. It is particularly hard for younger artists who have just entered the field and are trying to make a mark for themselves. Commercial recognition, followed soon by dizzying financial successes, quickly taints a newcomers practice and helps determine the course of their career.

The two sorely visible lobbies now prevalent in the art world of Pakistan are those of the die-hard traditionalists and leave-all-else-behind-new-media artists. The polarisation of these two groups and the confusion caused thence in the teaching practices of attached universities has been the worst blow to the young artists. Students find it necessary to identify with either one of the mindset, and automatically reject the other as irrelevant. Galleries have followed suit and picked favourites.

Through this project, I want to initiate a debate and a dialogue on the ethics and dynamics of these politics and the mercenary attitude of the galleries that behave more like shops and less as promoters of art and creativity.

Photographs © Nashmia Haroon

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