Freedom of Movement under way
KARACHI: Posters for Tomorrow’s three-day exhibition titled Freedom of Movement: 100 Posters for a Better World began at T2F’s Faraar Gallery on Thursday. It is a timely show in terms of its subject matter because in the last one year or so, with the introduction of the phrase ‘travel ban’ and issues such as the vote on Brexit, freedom of movement of the citizens of the world has come into question. Naturally, the artist community had to react to it, and the exhibition at T2F is one of its manifestations.
The top 10 posters selected by the jury aptly highlight the topic. Not just that, they underline a variety of delightful techniques used by the artists. They range from the rich symbolism of birds to the metaphor of brick walls to simple text in different languages, and all of them convey the message with a great deal of contextual persuasion and aesthetic grace. The foremost poster that stands out for its plain textual but cogent argument is from Ecuador’s Jimenez David. The artist has eliminated just a single alphabet from the famous Arnold Schwarzenegger catchphrase ‘Hasta la vista, baby’ by dropping the letter ‘t’ turning it into ‘Hasta la visa, baby’. The word ‘visa’ changes the whole context of the phrase and at the same time imparts a distinct auditory ring to it. That’s how simplicity drives an important point home.
China’s Yang Chao plays with the idea of barbed wires. The wires signify blockade or hampering of movement. The artist does not feel threatened by them because in the work that’s on view the wires come across as doodling, a language. And doodles can’t hurt or impede anyone’s growth.
But the most poignant of the top 10 posters is the most artistically subtle as well. It’s made by Iranzo Duque Pablo from Spain. Using the images of birds and a human hand, it tells the viewer ‘Can’t stop freedom from flying’. Pablo is spot-on. Freedom and flying are synonymous.
It must have been really hard for those who have picked the top 10 posters for the show because the rest of the 90 posters are no less striking. In fact, some of them seem to have been made with the kind of sociopolitical urgency that only contemporary artists and designers can feel.
Artist Khuda Bux Abro organises the Posters for Tomorrow exhibitions in Pakistan.