THE RISING TIDE : New Directions in Art from Pakistan 1990-2010

Posts Tagged ‘RISING TIDE KARACHI 2010

OPEN LETTER TO THE CURATOR OF THE RISING TIDE : NEW DIRECTIONS IN ART FROM PAKISTAN 1990- 2010.

8th Nov.2010

OPEN LETTER TO THE CURATOR OF THE RISING TIDE, KARACHI 2010.

 

Dear Naiza. How are you?

I went to see the “Rising Tide “ yesterday afternoon. The first thing that struck me when I walked in was the glaring omission of Unver Shafi and Amin Gulgee’s work from the exhibition that covers a period from 1990 – 2010.

Let me take you back to the early 90’s. These two artists had already gained more prominence in Pakistan by 1991-93 than practically anyone in the Rising Tide. They had solo shows nationwide and were written about by everyone. They were breaking new ground/direction in their field, in a country which had a dismal art scene at the time ,where painting pigeons and carving wooden figures was the order of the day. This was at time when a large percentage of the Rising Tide’s participants were having their fledgling group shows or hadn’t even finished art school.

I was someone who was promoting new directions in art in the 1990’s with the Ziggurat Gallery as you well know, and having shown Unver and Amin, I am curious to know on what grounds or valid criteria they were not included in the Rising Tide. Surely personal differences and other influences have to be put aside when dealing with a historical exhibition which appears to be undefined within any theme or one particular sphere of art, be it contemporary or cutting edge, painting, sculpture etc. etc. and envelops all the different facets of art.

I know it’s not easy to encompass 20 years of art in one show and people are bound to be excluded. But if I have to ask someone who artists as obscure as Polack & Hutcheson are ( I called David Alesworth during the show), surely 2 of the most prominent Pakistani artists of the last two decades should have been included instead/as well !! Sadly all the reviews the Rising Tide has got, have failed to raise this question as well.

Perhaps this perpetuates my belief that artists should be artists and curation left to gallery owners and professional curators. But then as you know anything flies in Pakistan where the definitions of artist, critic and curator all blur their dividing lines !

I await your reply,

Regards, Ardy.

P.S. 13th Nov.10

Naiza replied 3 days ago. Unfortunately her reply was too personal and patronizing to print here. It was written in a fit of pique and it would lower the tone of this letter and will not reflect well upon her. Her main defence to their exclusion was as expected, that Unver & Amin’s work did not fit into the “theme” of the Rising Tide. A theme, that if it exists beyond being described on a board in the show, is one that is widely open to interpretation, and one she claims I failed to grasp  !!

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Written by risingtidekarachi

November 8, 2010 at 4:25 pm

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