The Koel Gallery on Tuesday inaugurated a captivating exhibition of five artists, namely Syed Hasan Raza, Batool Zehra, Batool Mandvi, Zehra Almas and Sarah Hashmi.
The group presentation titled ‘Past, Present, Parallel’ urged its viewers to think beyond the perceived dimensions of the universe to search for a new sight of imagination.
If time could be perceived as a physical dimension, it is possible to travel through the blurred memories of the past and to look into the future. The exhibition is inducing many queries over the mysterious existence of time in the universe.
Mahreen Zuberi, an art critic, said Hasan Raza created urban dystopian landscapes, offering a glimpse into the future.
“His structures resemble dense apartment complexes that Karachiites are already getting quite accustomed to. Built one on top of the other, a closer inspection reveals structures constructed from a broken scale.”
Explaining the photographic collection of Batool Zehra, she said the artist erased the past, yet left behind some clues to create an alternate present.
“Ritual purification is a characteristic associated with many religions. The idea is to wash away any impurities and the artist has meticulously washed photographs from her childhood.”
She said Batool Mandvi had questioned the existence of past that had been portrayed in the history.
“Letters, conversations and thoughts spin a tale woven from fragments of reality and imagination,” she said. “Using photographs collected from old family albums, Mandvi uses her fondness of storytelling to travel back into time to deliver letters that were never written, to start conversations that were never initiated and to catch glances that were never stolen.”
Talking about Zehra Almas’s work, Zuberi said it was drawn from the political landscape of the megalopolis.
“Streets of Karachi are the subject of her investigation. Taking us to the darkest of its alleys, the artist attempts to shroud our sense of threat by adorning the scene with festive music and decorative lights.”
Sharing her views over Sarah Hashmi’s investigation, she said the artist collected memories extracted from objects that had belonged to someone.
“Through interviews and research, she follows the memories of the owner and maps the journey of that memory, into the present.” The exhibition will be on display till August 10.