The monsoon blues
KARACHI: In our neck of the woods, the monsoon season can be both a boon and a bane. If on the one hand it has romantic connotations, on the other hand it can also have a damaging effect simply because we sometimes don’t know how to deal with it. What about the time prior to that? Intriguing thought. A group exhibition interestingly called Before There Was a Monsoon which is under way at Gandhara Art Space seeks to touch upon the same topic.
The show is divided into two sections. The first one deals with works created in 2008-09 and the second is to do with artworks made in 2017. One would have thought that there would be a marked difference between the two. Nope. Strange are the ways of the creative process. It always lives in the ‘now’. This is the context in which the exhibited artworks should be seen.
Let’s begin with Atif Khan’s piece ‘Sweet Dream’ (hand block print, digital print cut-out). The artist takes a simple idea of attraction and turns it into a case of avarice. The image that one sees can also be applied to human beings, and once the viewer does that in his or her mind, the concept of a sweet dream becomes an ominous one.
Naazish Ataullah focuses, literally and figuratively, on time with a piece called ‘Transparency of Time, IV’ (digital print). For her it’s the games that vision plays with us which compel us to look at the vagaries of time in a certain way. This is where the illusion of sight allows time to dictate us.
Speaking of optical illusions, Sameera Khan impresses with ‘Petroglyph’ (woodcut). It is a striking work of art which leaves the viewer wondering as to what is being abraded or incised in the image.
In all, there are more than two dozen artists who have put their works on display in the exhibition which will conclude on Nov 7.