a monument of collective memories to re-imagine the future
After its launch in March 2015 at the
prestigious Art Dubai , the Karachi Biennale team has been busy
putting down the foundation of its curatorial and organizational
infrastructure to realize its vision in 2017. In Dubai, where the
large audience of Pakistani and international artists, collectors and
curators received the news enthusiastically voicing high expectations
from a Biennale in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city. Karachi, a city of
over 20 million which is home to a very ethnically diverse
population has grown in size from a small harbor town to a mega
city. Today it is a cultural microcosm of the country, as
historically it has opened its arms to all who are attracted by the
opportunities it offers.
The Karachi art scene which has
attracted artists from all over the country since the 1950s has
always offered an environment unburdened by an established canon that
has inspired the creative individual to responded to the personal and
the political with greater freedom.
The Karachi Biennale is a
visionary platform that will bring together innovation, excellence
and criticality through a multiplicity of curatorial strategies to
showcase artists from Pakistan to the world as well as strengthen a
global art exchange.
The curatorial team of the KB are
presently engaged in developing concept in response to our theme
Witness. The theme WITNESS that evokes issues of misrepresentation
and erasure. Art as a testament of its time has always held
significance, particularly in times when memory is heavily contested.
According to Kundera ‘The struggle of man against power is the
struggle of memories against forgetting’ this puts the onus on eye
witnesses and documenters to create testimonies. The artists’
narratives will have centrality at the Biennale.
The Biennale aims to showcase art in a
multi-tiered exhibition program with curated shows in major
exhibition spaces of the city. This will have a component with
regional and global artists. Artists are also invited to create
interventions at off- site locations to reclaim places of historical
and social importance. Vibrant public art at widespread locations
throughout the city will penetrate deep into cultural fabric of
Karachi and engage new audience
A milestone for KB in the four months
has been the official registration of the Karachi Foundation For the
Arts, the organization which is holding the KB. This valuable
endorsement will help us to accelerate the fundraising efforts.
The Friends of the KB in Dubai has taken the lead in this respect and
pledged funding support for the Public Art Programs, an important
initiative to install off site art and work with communities all over
Karachi. Their fund raising activities will commence shortly after
the summer break in Dubai.
KB has begun to forge partnerships with institutions and organizations to make it possible
to showcase ambitious art projects from Pakistan, the region and the