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Pattern to follow, 2010, gouache on wasli paper, 95.25 x 165 cm

Virginia Whiles

21.08.2017 19:00 / Contemporary art in Pakistan: Contrasts between local and global perspectives
Location: Galerie 5020
  • Language: English
    Address: Residenzplatz 10, 5020 Salzburg

    My talk will relate diverse aspects of the art world in Pakistan. Following a brief historical introduction, the contemporary scene will be contextualised through references to its geo-socio-political interactions and constraints, with particular focus on gender issues. My reflections are based on my ethnographic research undertaken whilst teaching art history and critical theory on the first MA Fine Art course at the National College of Art in Lahore, from 2000 until 2003, and since then through my return visits to teach or participate in cultural events such as the Lahore Literary festival. I will show images arising from the main area of my research for my book Art and Polemic in Pakistan, which concentrates on the miniature painting department – a unique and extraordinary space where I had the privilege of participating with the students under the tuition of Imran Qureshi. Other images from the wide range of media practised by contemporary artists will of course be presented. Since I write reviews for both western and South Asian journals, I will describe Pakistan’s situation within a globalised perspective, as well as its close yet tense rapport with India. Their joint participation in the last Venice Biennale was cause for celebration and questions concerning Pakistan’s possibilities for playing the Biennale game – on the cards for its baptism in 2018.