2 / 182

Aamir Habib

Born in 1978 in Kohat (Pakistan)
Lives and works in Karachi (Pakistan)

Originally from Kohat, a small city in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Northern Pakistan, Aamir Habib graduated from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi, in 2003. Specialising in sculpture, his work has been exhibited locally and internationally at venues such as: Canvas Gallery, Karachi; Koel Gallery, Karachi; ArtChowk the Gallery, Karachi; the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture Gallery; Carbon12Dubai; and AB Gallery, Luzern. His work has also been shown at multiple art fairs, including: Scope Basel 2013, 2014; Abu Dhabi Art Fair 2013; and the Moscow Biennale 2014. His sculptures, installations and digital works, whilst ostensibly light-hearted and playful, are a satirical investigation and articulation of the ubiquitous socio-political paradoxes and contradictions in society. His art practice does not aim to make definitive statements, but rather to question, and comment on the abundant social, political and cultural inconsistencies and ruptures that have been caused by the powers that be, with little regard for the collateral damage caused to the affected civilian communities.

Habib’s sculptural installation for the Karachi Biennale 2017, Already Eaten, comprising of a taxidermied donkey and two television screens, is an homage to the working poor of Pakistan. Much like in Orwell’s Animal Farm, the hard-working horse, Boxer, is an allegorical representation of the Soviet proletariat, Habib’s donkey symbolises the working-class who, in the artist’s words, “have stretched themselves on hollow praise and broken promises since the dawn of independence.” The two television screens, playing the sound of people clapping, are a visual metaphor for the “hollow praise and broken promises” that give assurances of a brighter future, but never deliver, creating a system which negates social mobility.

Already Eaten, 2017.
Taxidermied donkey, two television sets
183 x 152 x 123 cm.