Black Square explores the motifs of interpretation and intervention through the phenomenology of colour. As such, colour is often enough deployed as a symbol (as in a flag or an object of devotion) or a metaphor (signifying moods and temperaments) to represent shared ideals, and to mark the difference in respect to the “other.” This differential politics of colour is especially important to understand in the context of a society, like Pakistan that has sought ... More
Originally constructed as a botanical garden, covering 172 acres of land, Lawrence Gardens (now Bagh-e-Jinnah), was built under British colonial rule in Lahore in 1849. Lawrence Gardens was modelled after the historic Kew Gardens in London that served as a collecting and breeding ground for plant specimens from all over the world at the height of the British Empire. Site specific projects for LB01 at Bagh- e-Jinnah are cognizant of this history. They offer a counter narrative or make visible presuppositions that underlie colonial optics and seeing, as well as the arrangement of the landscape. Together these works present an engagement with nature, that harkens to the densely layered past of the site, yet also incorporate markers of the present ... More
Iftikhar Dadi and Elizabeth Dadi’s practice investigates the salience of popular media in the construction of memory, borders, and identity in contemporary globalization, and the potential of creative resilience in urban informalities. Especially developed for LB01, Roz o shab (day and night) is a site-specific neon installation that responds to historical references and sensory encounters of this arresting space. The entangled “river” of blue neon is threaded through with red, rewarding the eye tracing the maze with the one successful route bridging the everyday outside and the liminal inside. Roz o shab’s layout recalls labyrinthine structures in Mughal architecture (bhool bhulaiyan) and analogous fort and palace architectures in other sites. By situating a children’s puzzle with its knotted form in ... More
Rizvi is an interdisciplinary artist exploring notions of memory, loss, erasures, and migration. For LB01, the artist’s project sifted through, and drew from archival material from the British Raj times, specifically the countless images of tiger hunts that overtly display and celebrate the subjugation of one at the hands of another. Using two tigers as main characters: a normal bengal tiger and a white tiger, the work meditated and reflected on ideas of post colonialism, identity and politics, on time and place, and on man’s power over nature. Rizvi graduated from the National College of Arts, Lahore. He was selected for the Arcus Project Residency, Japan in 2011. He was recipient of the Charles Wallace Pakistan Trust and British Council ... More
The Academic Forum is an integral dimension of the Lahore Biennale. It aims to foster broad and imaginative discussions on art, culture, and society by bringing comparative and cross-disciplinary perspectives from other locations to Lahore. The Academic Forum brings over a dozen distinguished international curators, critics, and scholars to give public lectures, participate in panel discussions, conduct workshops, and do studio visits with local artists. Topics selected have comparative relevance for the artistic, academic, and public context of Lahore. Highlighted in this edition's Academic Forum are a series of lectures and workshops spread over the course of the Biennale. These primarily outline contemporary discourse surrounding left-leaning politics, cinema in Pakistan, food culture, anti-colonial movements, feminist transnational networks, and problems inherent ... More
The present Lahore Museum was constructed under British rule, and retains elements of Mughal architecture in a style termed Indo-Saracenic architecture. Located on Mall Road adjacent to the National College of Arts, Lahore, the Museum has been famously depicted as the Wonder House or Ajaib Ghar in Rudyard Kipling’s novel, Kim. It is home to the country’s largest and oldest collection of historical, cultural and artistic objects. These include coins, Pahari and Mughal paintings and fabrics, Greco-Buddhist sculptures, and modern art. Artists exhibiting at this site include Ayesha Jatoi, Bani Abidi, Masooma Syed and Waqas Khan.
Parallax is a monumental, three- channel single image audio-visual animation created from hundreds of original hand-drawn paintings by Shahzia Sikander. Created in 2013 for Sharjah Biennial 11, Parallax examines contested histories of colonialism, mechanisms of power and cultural authority, and tensions over the control of trade routes in Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf. Movement of resources and commodities, naval warfare, and the East India Company underlie the work. Trenchant historical symbols are given shifting identities as they come together to cultivate new associations through velocity and magnitude. The animation’s original score is created in collaboration with the 2017 ... More
Qureshi is renowned for further developing an aesthetic derived from miniature painting which flourished in Mughal courts of the sixteenth century. Incorporating elements of the natural world, such as foliage he often juxtaposes them with imagery alluding to bloodshed and violence. Thus integrating contemporary themes with motifs derived from traditional miniature painting. Qureshi has exhibited at major biennales and museums worldwide. His work is held in the permanent collections of major institutions including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
The 17th century Shahi Hammam (Royal Baths) fell into disuse during the decline and fall of the Mughal Empire. The 1,000 square meter complex was recently restored and conserved over two years. These interventions include the exposure, conservation and display of the original waterworks, drainage and heating networks as well as the historic floor level, restoration of the original entrance, internal chambers and architectural features including provisions for internal and external illumination. The original frescoes, dating from the Mughal period, were also conserved.
Shirin Neshat (b. 1957, Qazvin, Iran) lives and works in New York City. Neshat’s photographs and films offer a glimpse of the cultural, religious and political realities that shape the identities of Muslim women worldwide. Turbulent marks a departure from still photography toward video installation, and was the artist’s first attempt at focusing on issues of gender in relation to the social structure of Islamic Iran. The main subject of the work is an inquiry into the absence of Iranian women from musical practice (women have often been banned from taking part in such activity, while men are free to ... More
Mahmud’s artistic practice is realized through various mediums such as painting, installation and photography that engage with his cultural and political heritage. For LB01, in the Soaked Dream project, the artist exhibited especially designed “seeing devices.” The work urged audiences to think about issues of labour and visibility today in the global South. Mahmud was a participant at Rijksakademie VB Kunsten, Amsterdam, and has a PhD from the Tokyo University of Arts, an MFA from Tama Art ... More
For LB01, the artist exhibited work from a series that revolves around nostalgia and memories arising from the artist’s teenage years when there was only one channel on TV, with an eight- hour transmission, and watching it was the only option available. Khan has had an illustrious career as a print-maker that spans over twenty years. Often making use of Mughal iconography, Atif Khan intervenes into time, from the present day to a few hundred ... More