Jan 25 – Feb 25, 2017
…creating 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 global.