Live and work in Berlin (Germany)
bankleer are Berlin-based artists Karin Kasböck and Christoph Maria Leitner. In their work, the duo develops installations and videos that address and expand documented performances and their settings. Using interventions and Happenings as a starting point they produce documentary-fictional videos, objects and spacial installations about distortions in society and about processes of transformation. A key component of bankleer's artistic practice is the interplay between documentary and fiction, social reality and artistic autonomy, art and non-art contexts. Recent shows and performances include Berliner Herbstsalon/Maxim Gorki Theater (2013, 2015, 2017), die Irrenden/Max-Joseph-Platz München (2016), into the city/Wiener Festwochen, compeung/Chiang Mai, Steirischer Herbst/Graz (2015) and transit/Bratislava (2014).
Of their work for KB17, The Thing, bankleer write: “In the city center around the Biennale, or nearby the exhibition building, we will place a meteorite - as it crosses the atmosphere, coming from the universe and reaching earth. Depending on the possibilities, the situation recreates an impact, with damage, a hole, or deformation. The meteorite is a sculpture that rests and becomes a performative element after some time. The sculpture is motionless and silent for quite a while, then slowly begins with sounds to speak to the audience, while body parts, such as arms or legs, become visible.”
Born in 1992 in Karachi (Pakistan)
Lives and works in Karachi (Pakistan)
Batool Zehra graduated from the Department of Visual Studies, Karachi University with Distinction in 2014. She has participated in several group exhibitions in Karachi and is currently an Art Instructor at BVS Parsi High School, Karachi.
Batool Zehra writes of her performance for KB17: “My practice revolves around the idea of impermanence and change. There is a process of deconstruction and reconstruction in my work; I burn down different materials and use their ash to set up something new. My performance, A Minute More, will be on a wooden bench made as a bed. Upon this ‘bed’ I will create a pattern of ash…I will wear black clothes and lay on that bed to sleep. With my movements, the ash patterns will gradually start deforming, relating to the idea of fragility and change.”
Born in 1965 in Edinburgh (UK)
Lives and works in London (UK)
Birgitta Hosea is a media artist and curator who works in expanded animation and experimental drawing. She studied Film and Drama at Glasgow University and Theatre Design at Glasgow School of Art. Previously Course Director of MA Character Animation at Central Saint Martins in London, where she was awarded a practice-based PhD in Animation as Performance in 2012, she is currently Head of Animation at the Royal College of Art in London. Hosea's work takes a conceptual approach to the moving image that draws upon historical and theoretical research into the discipline. Rather than using animation to create short films, her personal work is concerned with deconstructing conventional ideas about animation and exploring different expanded forms that the recording of time and motion could take. Combining animation, video, interactive technology, drawing, and live performance, her practice explores animism: the vital spark of movement that brings the still and lifeless into motion. She is also interested in how the media that surrounds us and the very movements we make - our gestures and actions - lead us to construct our identity: in particular how we perform our gender identity.
The video on view at KB17 is a documentation of a performance that was done in an exhibition called “gHost IV” that was curated by Sarah Sparkes at the Crypt of St Johns, Bethnal Green, London in 2012. Taking the role of a techno-medium, Hosea channels messages from film and radio through her multiple digital doubles and live projections of automatic writing, electronic ectoplasmic drawing and animation. Inspired by archival research into Victorian spirit photographs, which are amongst the earliest examples of photographic manipulation, this tableau vivant explores the act of mediation that is involved in the digital image making process. It examines the connections between a medium, such as film or digital code, through which a message is encoded, stored and transmitted and the psychic medium, a person who transmits messages from the spirit world. The words in the soundtrack are sampled from two classic films in which human beings mediate between the world of the living and the world of the dead. June, the radio operator from A Matter of Life and Death (Powell and Pressburger, 1946), picks up radio transmissions from a WW2 pilot on the verge of death: “Are you receiving me?” The housekeeper Mrs Danvers thinks she hears her departed mistress walking through the corridors of her former home, Manderlay: “Sometimes I hear her.” (Rebecca, Hitchcock, 1940)
Live and work between Berlin (Germany) and Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
Margit Lukács (b, 1973, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) & Persijn Broersen (b. 1974, Delft, The Netherlands) are artists living and working between Amsterdam and Berlin. They work in a wide variety of media—most notably video, animation and graphics—producing a myriad of works that reflect on the ornamental characteristics of today's society. With video pieces that incorporate (filmed) footage, digital animation and images appropriated from the media, they demonstrate how reality, media and fiction are strongly intertwined in contemporary society. Broersen and Lukács studied at the Sandberg Institute and at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. Their films, installations and graphic work have been shown internationally, at a.o. Biennale of Sydney (Australia), Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (the Netherlands), MUHKA (Belgium), Centre Pompidou (France), Shanghai World Expo (China), and Casa Enscendida (Spain).
Broersen & Lukács have two videos on view at KB17. In Establishing Eden, the artists focus on the establishment shot: the moment a landscape is identified and becomes one of the main protagonists in a film. In blockbusters like Avatar (James Cameron, 2009) and the film series Lord of the Rings (Peter Jackson, 2001-2014) these shots have been used to capture and confiscate the nature of New Zealand, propagating itself as a new Eden, ever-green and unspoilt. Here fiction takes over reality: mountains and forests exist under the name of their cinematic alter-egos. Broersen & Lukács traveled through the wilderness of New Zealand to capture these landscapes and with that, they appropriate the nature of New Zealand once again. Creating an architecture of fragments connected by the camera-movement of a perpetual establishment shot, they show this Eden as a series of many possible realities, an illusion that just as easily comes together as it falls apart. In the second video, Stranded Present, the vertigo effect of time in today’s culture makes the present appear as if woven out of many pasts. Transformed, shifted or mutilated, historical motifs have found their home in the adornments of many past and future households. While searching for the strength and sustainability of certain patterns, Broersen & Lukács stumbled upon the 19th century illustrations of the ruins of Palmyra in the Parisian Bibliothèque Fornay, a library of decorative arts. They reconstructed this once flattened motif of a temple, depicting its endless dimensions—plastic, malleable and untouchable—as a liquid body, transforming over time. On the night of its first appearance in public, ISIS took control of the historic city of Palmyra and, with that, expropriated the meaning of Broersen & Lukács’ work. And, nevertheless, or perhaps precisely because of this, the motif is again nestled in our brains, as a stream that, once settled in its bed, will flow on for ages.
Born in 1989 in Guangdong (China)
Lives and works between Hong Kong and Berlin (Germany)
Carla Chan obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong. She works with a variety of media including video, installation, photography and interactive media. Much like the never-ending development of new technology Chan considers media art as a medium with infinite possibilities for artistic expressions. Minimal in style and form, Chan’s works often toys with the blurred boundaries between reality and illusion, figure and abstraction. Her recent work focuses on the ambiguity in nature. Bridging natural transformation and unpredictable computer algorithms, her work is consolidated with a cohesive dynamic between form, means and content. Her works have been showcased extensively in different International exhibitions. Including Punto y Raya festival in ZKM (DE), ISEA 2016 (HK), Hek (Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel) (CH), shortlisted in The Lumen Prize and Discovery LOOP Barcelona video Art Award, 2016 and Work selected in Hong Kong Contemporary Art Awards 2012 in Hong Kong Museum of Art. Recently, she won the Sponsorship prize from Minister of Arts in SAXON STATE in Germany and is preparing her solo exhibition at Sexauer Gallery in Berlin and Den Frie Contemporary Art Center in Copenhagen.
Carla Chan writes of Black Moves, on view at KB17: “[This] is a video that creates a spatial drama and a virtual landscape that simulates the forming and de-forming of an amorphous black mass, an evocative sensorial unfolding that traverses between the boundaries of the physical and the psychological as experienced inside a dark space. The multi-layered visuals in the video are created with a set of noise-generation algorithms simulating organic formations and patterns found in nature. These noise-like organic visual crystals are my attempts in naturalizing digital imageries via the creation of a virtual landscape. BLACK MOVES springs from my long obsession and fascination with natural transformations, particularly formless shapes and their movement. The transformative power of natural substances such as water, rock, air and clouds produce infinite varying forms that seem both ordered and random at the same time. These magical transformations continuously disorient and fascinate the senses, creating a rich perceptual journey that is chartered for a mysterious unknown cosmic. This unknown cosmic can be seen as a representation of an external world as well as a mirror of the psyche from within, where the immanent and the transcendent are fused as one via the ever-changing audiovisuality.”
Born in 1961 in Rome (Italy)
Lives and works in Rome (Italy)
Claudio Crescentini is an art historian, critic and author of numerous essays and books. His primary interest is in the cultural changes of the 20th and 21st centuries in art languages and new media. He also has a keen interest in art in relation to urban planning and architecture. He has curated many international exhibitions, including “NOW: The Art Before the Future” (Contemporary Art Festival 2013-2014); Marisa and Mario Merz (2015), William Kentridge (2016), Pop Art in Rome (2017). He also curated, with Paolo De Grandis, the concept art project “From La Biennale di Venezia to MACRO: International Perspectives” (2016-2017). Since 2014, he has been a curator at MACRO (Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma) and was a member of the public committee that selected Giuseppe Penone for the location of a large sculpture in the center of Rome (2017).
Claudio Crescentini writes of his project for KB17: “Three artists and a poet start from the ‘hybrid’ concept. Their view is now overturned. The three videos are not evidence of something that happens once, but the recording of what continuously happens in the artist’s brain: An uninterrupted and gratuitous flow of images. The natural and urban elements melt the specificities of the three works presented: Ironic ‘Nature’ – but not natural – by Candy Candy with a poetic concept by Patrizia Chianese; a wild ‘Urbanization’ vision by #MIH Made In Heaven; and ‘Emotion’ in motion by Laura Federici. Each artist is lost in reality, but their reality is a different thing from what you actually see.”
Born in 1991 in Rawalpindi (Pakistan)
Lives and works in Karachi (Pakistan)
Danial Hyatt is a multidisciplinary artist focusing on Music/Sound and Videogames/Programming. His work contains recurring themes of myth and is executed with emphasis on technology. He was awarded an MFA in Creative Practice from Plymouth University (UK) in 2017.
Danial Hyatt writes of Ziggurat of Neglect for KB17: “From the ancient dolmens to Lego, the deliberate act of stacking, connecting and balancing material blocks is embedded in human nature. It can be observed plainly in Karachi, amplified by hues from the setting sun on raw concrete. This manifestation also lives in the garbage heaps that cast long shadows in the junkyard.”
Born in 1957 in London (UK)
Lives and works between Lahore (Pakistan) and Bristol (UK)
David Alesworth is a Sculptor, photographer and researcher of garden history. Over the past decade his work has been predominately organized around ideas arising from the garden. However, this has been a very expanded ideation of the garden, more of the global forest of which we are all a part or as nature and culture than of the urban garden, but of course that too. He has visited the Botanical Garden as a concentration camp of exotic aliens, imprisoned in an act of cultural cleansing (Linz : 2007). The post-colonial garden in the video work “Joank” 2008, several public Botanical Interventions in Berlin, 2009-2010 and Botanical taxonomy in “The Garden of Babel” 2009. Also ideas of garden perfection in the textile works “Garden Palimpsest” 2010 and “Hyde Park, Kashan 1862” 2011, amongst others. He takes the garden as his key metaphor with which to probe humanity’s culturally specific relationships with the natural world and toward understanding nature more as a social problem. His own hybrid identity as a Pakistani National of White British ethnicity tends to inform most aspects of his current practice. Besides teaching in various Pakistani Art Schools and maintaining an active international art practice he has continued to work as a landscape designer and horticultural consultant in Pakistan for more than twenty-five years.
David Alesworth states of his “carpet intervention” on view at KB17: “A sense of place has been fundamental to my understanding of the world, the landscape and its living elements in particular. Over the last decade as an artist and researcher I've become more and more involved in issues of identity and post-coloniality. Lahore’s central city park known today as Bagh-e-Jinnah was formerly Lawrence Gardens and under the British Raj it was one of the numerous globe encircling Botanical gardens of Empire that were central to the British colonizing project. Initially intended as a garden of ‘acclimatization’ for English fruit trees and loosely based upon the design of Kew Gardens, Lawrence Gardens has continued to evolve through the intervening decades. The work is based upon a mapping of Lawrence Gardens from the 1970’s and the park and its broader environment are a veritable lab for the study of post-coloniality.”
Born in 1964 in Madrid (Spain)
Lives and works in Madrid (Spain)
Eduardo Gómez Ballesteros has a degree in Psychology (UAM, Spain) and a Doctorate in Fine Arts (UCM, Spain), with a doctoral thesis on the Cambodian genocide. His long artistic career is marked by the use of different artistic techniques: photography, drawing, etching, video-installation and public art. His main artistic project, the GENOCIDE PROJECT, consists of several series of works made by him based on archival images of political violence and genocide. It is a research project focused on artistic practice, history, philosophy and pedagogy. The art pieces created are fed by archival images of victims of violent political processes, collected in the countries of origin of the conflict, and photographs of places of torture, confinement and execution, carried out in the present. He has had numerous solo exhibitions in the Dominican Republic, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Lebanon, Portugal, the US, Colombia, Brazil, Germany, Japan, France and the UK, as well as in his native Spain. Currently he works as a professor of Contemporary Art and Culture and Audiovisual Language at the International University of La Rioja (UNIR).
For KB17 Eduardo Gómez Ballesteros has submitted work from his series HIROSHIMA, S-21 and BAS LA SOCIETÉ SPECTACULAIRE-MARCHANDE. Of HIROSHIMA, the artist writes: “The intentional killing of more than two hundred and fifty thousand people, in the eyes of the whole world, should be unanimously recognized as a mass murder. From images from the archive of The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, I converted some of these portraits of victims into photographic masks for a performance. This consisted of asking the participants, dressed all in black, to move and pose on a dark stage with the image as a mask. Thus, the photos take off from the intimate, to become a collective, moving device. I intend to anticipate a poetics of the ephemeral and the volatile.”
Born in 1995 in Lahore (Pakistan)
Lives and works in Lahore (Pakistan)
Eemaan Raja graduated from OPF College, Islamabad in 2013. She is currently pursuing her BFA at Beaconhouse National University, Lahore.
Of her performance for KB17, Emaan Raja writes: “The work talks about the importance of body as self and its relationships in our region. Not just the male or female body but a general presence of one’s body, separating it from the conscious and the subconscious mind and looking at it only as a presence. We relate to people through the conversations they make; we value verbal communication as the basis of every interaction and at times disregard the bodily presence. The work explores that bodily presence and the urge to connect to it even without a verbal link.”
Born in 1989 in (Pakistan)
Lives and works in Lahore (Pakistan)
Ehsan Memon received a BFA (with Distinction) from the National College of Arts, Lahore, in 2016. His work has been shown at group exhibitions around Pakistan at a variety of galleries, including: Canvas Gallery, Karachi; Gallery 6, Islamabad; O Art Space, Lahore; Zahoor ul Akhlaq Gallery, National College of Arts, Lahore; and Alhamra Art Gallery, Lahore. He has participated in multiple art residencies, such as: Artist in Residency at International Steel Limited, Karachi; Pioneer Art Residency, Lahore; and Vasl Artists’ Collective’s Taza Tareen Residency, Karachi, as well as winning the Young Artist Award in Alhamra Art Gallery’s annual exhibition, ‘About Time’ in 2015. His sculpturally-based art practice toys with perception and notions of reality, manifesting itself in his work with the hyper-realistic re-creation of objects as souvenirs from personal narratives. An integral component of Memon’s work is its interaction with the viewer; its aesthetic verisimilitude deceives the viewer, subverting perceptions of reality, and in doing so, visually mimics the duplicitous facets of human behaviour.
In Memon’s untitled sculptural installation for the Karachi Biennale 2017, the artist applies his practice of veristically replicating the form of objects to types of local flatbreads, creating a multitude of these convincing panary imitations with painted fiberglass. The realisation of the artist’s work brings to mind the reputed verisimilitude of Myron’s bronze Heifer, memorialised by dozens of epigrams in The Greek Anthology, one of which, written by Dioskorides, proclaims: “O, bull, in vain you mount this heifer, for it is lifeless. The sculptor of cows, Myron, has deceived you.” The illusion of veracity imbued within Memon’s sculptures provides a commentary on superficiality and deception in our society; simultaneously a representation of the ability of the human eye to be deceived by appearance, and the reality of deceit as an aspect of human behaviour.
Born in 1966 in Paris (France)
Lives and works in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo)
In collaboration with Huguette Kilembi, Emery Mohamba, Blaise Mandefu, Irène Kamba, Mbuku Kimpala, Matthieu Kasiama, Jean Kawata, Mao Kinguza, Daniel Mumvunzi, Cedrick Tamasala. Eléonore Hellio’s interest in electronic arts arose in the beginning of the 1990s, when she became one of the main co-operating artists of the Electronic Café International. Today as an artist and a teacher, she develops open creative systems and educational programs in various contexts with numerous partners, most of whom are based on the African continent. Network Art, with or without technology, is at the heart of her practice. Since 1996, Hellio has been teaching art and media at the Haute Ecole des Arts du Rhin in Strasbourg and, since 2006, at Kinshasa’s Académie des Beaux-Arts. She organizes workshops, makes films, installations, performances and publishes texts and photographic work, as a solo practitioner and in collaboration with numerous life professionals, notably in the context of Kongo Astronauts, a collective that she founded in 2013 with performance artist Michel Ekeba. Simultaneously, she is involved in a wide range of art and research projects bringing together international thinkers around questions relating to the impact of digital globalization and challenges posed by the postcolonial era. On a regular basis, she collaborates with SPARCK, a multi-platform, experimental Pan-African curatorial platform, and has established the eternalnetwork.org hub.
Eléonore Hellio’s video Upside Down World is on view at KB17. Hellio herself, at pains to underscore that this is a collective work, elaborated with ten artists based in Lusanga whom she led in a 2016 workshop, explains that the video was filmed on the grounds of an ongoing project with which she has been closely associated. Initiated in 2014 by Dutch artist Renzo Martens in Lusanga, on a cacao plantation owned by the US conglomerate Unilever, the project bears the name CATPC (Cercle d’art des travailleurs de plantation congolaise). In part, the work is a response to the presence on the project site of an artwork by German artist Carsten Höller: a set of goggles that allow those who wear them to see the world upside down. Well known on the Euro-American contemporary art scene, Höller’s goggles were discussed at length by the workshop participants as a metaphor for the “North’s” misreading of Congolese lives and experiences.
Born in 1969 in Pordenone (Italy)
Lives and works in Venice (Italy)
Elisabetta di Sopra graduated in 2010 from the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice; her thesis was on American artist Bill Viola. Her artistic research is expressed through the use of video language to investigate the most sensitive dynamics of everyday dimensions, as well as its unexpressed interior stories in which the female body plays a key role. She writes of her practice: “I'm the protagonist of my videos, the body is the privileged tool of expressing my work, it becomes a metaphor for our being in the world and thus the video art. Like music, like dance, it is a delicate gesture that actually materializes our feelings. Almost no dialogue exists in my videos. The body speaks through minimal gestures.” Di Sopra’s work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and festivals, including: MARCA Museum, (IT); "Possible Senses", Pizzinato Gallery, Pordenone (IT); Artist-run, Gallery Galaway, Ireland; THE PLAGIO D'ARTE D'ARTE, conference - Academy of Fine Arts Bologna; AUTHORITRATES The Showroom London; Paratissima 11, Turin (IT); and Künstlerhaus - body interference, Vienna; among many others.
Elisabetta di Sopra simply states of Dust Grains, on view at KB17: “Distant memories, those of childhood, are like dust grains in the eye...”
Born in 1979 in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic)
Lives and works in in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic)
Elvin José Díaz Tolentino graduated from the Pedro Henriquez Ureña National University (UNPHU), Santo Domingo (2003), and did a postgraduate course in Performance Studies at FLACSO, Santo Domingo (2006). Currently he is pursuing a Master ́s degree in Visual Arts in the Dominican Republic. Since 2014, his “BINATIONAL PROJECT” has explored the theme of the border, interconnection and exchange between two cultures: Haitian and Dominican. The artist has had more than 50 group and solo exhibitions as well as participated in art contests at the Museum of Art in the Bronx and the Museo del Barrio, both in New York. In 2010, he was selected to be part of DVD-Project, a travelling international video-art project organized by Stichting Idee-fixe (The Netherlands). In 2014 the artist presented an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Santo Domingo that explored Video-Art, Video-Installation, Video-Performance and documentation through the video of performance. His work has received many awards in the Dominican Republic.
Elvin José Díaz Tolentino writes of Placenta, his work on view at KB17: “This is a video performance that spawns from an action that takes place at the national border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic in a place called ‘No Man’s Land,’ where a Haitian and a Dominican man blow up a balloon so big they both can get inside until the pressure and movement make it burst. While trying to remain in the balloon, they begin to interact, to converge until the object takes their shape. This video performance provides different views of the same event: the horizontal and frontal views allow us to see in detail how these two men struggle to remain in the same space, and an overhead one permits us to witness the dilemma of two bodies trying to coexist in a limited and fragile space.”
Born in 1989 in Dordrecht (The Netherlands)
Lives and works between The Hague (The Netherlands) and Davao City (The Philippines)
Having developed a performance-based practice, Eric Peter’s projects can entail installations, performances, discussions, gatherings, interventions, drawings, texts or video works. In his semi-anthropological and associative approach, he explores socio-political subjects to question the normative in history-making as well as cultural and social norms. Within his practice, periods of immersion with (sub)groups, communities or individuals often lead to collaborative efforts. He holds a BFA in Interdisciplinary Attitudes from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and currently pursues an MFA in Art Praxis at the Dutch Art Institute (DAI). Recent presentations include: 'La Caja', 3M Art Foundation, Santa Maria, Colombia, group (2017); 'Prospects & Concepts', Art Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, group (2017); 'Ondertussen', Stroom, The Hague, The Netherlands, solo (2016); 'Everybody’s Perfect', Spoutnik, Geneva, Switzerland, group (2016); 'Conversation Piece', 1646, The Hague, The Netherlands, duo (2016); 'Shifting Spaces', W139, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, group (2016); 'Conversations on the Near Future', 98B, Manila, The Philippines, solo (2015); 'Mutabor', Kharkiv, Ukraine, group (2015); 'Between Thinking, Seeing, Saying and Nothing', IVS Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan, group (2015).
Eric Peter states of his work for KB17: “The performance and installation Higher than the Mountains, Deeper than the Oceans, Stronger than Steel and Sweeter than Honey explores the compassionate within trade agreements between Pakistan and other nations… What does it mean if we buy products from abroad instead of locally fabricated ones? Are the extensive trade agreements really beneficial for the nation at large? But most importantly, can trade agreements constitute a more compassionate understanding of each other — as individuals and societies at large? This performance is part of the long-term project Sweetness Lasts Forever, in which Eric Peter researches economics in relation to art and (positive) social change.”
Born in 1970 in Murree (Pakistan)
Lives and works in Toronto (Canada)
Faisal Anwar, a new-media artist based out of Toronto, works locally and across the world. A graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Habitat-LAB, Anwar was earlier trained in graphic design at the National College of Arts, Lahore. Amongst his numerous international exhibitions, some of the significant ones include Winter Olympics Vancouver, 2010; the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, 2016; Nuit-Blanche art festivals in Toronto and New York, 2011, 2015, and 2016; Six Degrees of Separation exhibition in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, 2008. His project Tweetgarden was showcased at the Royal Ontario Museum in 2012. Several of Anwar's short films have been featured in festivals in Canada and abroad. Passionate about innovating within the scope of contemporary Art and hybrid design, Anwar’s art practice is about creating odd configurations integrating culture and technology. He explores social interactivity and collective behavior in modern urban cultures by tapping into people's perceptions of public and private spaces. To examine and express his insights about ideas of identity, pains of dislocation, and notions of power, Anwar's medium of art is data, social media, and recently Augmented realities. He investigates sociocultural alienation resulting from “globalization,” impacting every aspect of life and forming myriad homogenized visual similarities between world cities. Most of Anwar’s projects are participatory in nature inviting his audience to interact and evolve.
Faisal Anwar’s commissioned work for KB17 emanated from a workshop he conducted earlier in the year at the NJV in which he asked students of the school to map their city using cell phone photography. He writes of the project: “I See my Streets/I See Karachi is a new-media installation driven by youth and community participation. A population of over 24 million people with a remarkable 80% expansion over the past decade, Karachi is the world’s fastest-growing megacity. Her streets are a chaos of movement– people, traffic, graffiti, landmarks, and a dense network of colonial, modern, and makeshift architecture and spaces. My interest is in creating a new form of visually rich, image-centric, street views capturing hidden patterns of flow–no maps or numbers, only contemporary social networks will be used.”
Born in 1965 in Karachi (Pakstan)
Lives and works in Karachi (Pakistan)
Farah Mahbub was born and brought up in Karachi. Her visual journey has explored various photographic genres, ranging from fine art, commercial, architectural and landscape photography. Mahbub’s work has been exhibited both locally and internationally and has been published in books, most notably Journeys of the Spirit: Pakistan Art in the New Millennium. She joined the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in 1997 as a faculty member, where she has been ever since. Under her tenure, photography has evolved from a single class into an undergraduate minor spanning the Communication Design and Fine Art and Interior Design departments.
Farah Mahbub writes the following of her triptych for KB17: “As the city grows and expands with time, its magnitude and character experience alterations. These shifts happen at an unpredictable pace. The city is continuously including or excluding old structures. Hazrat Abdullah Shah Ghazi r.a shrine was, and still is, a significant Karachi landmark. This Sufi saint has for centuries been a witness to beautiful, restless Karachi. Hazrat Abdullah Shah Ghazi Baba r.a was martyred in the year 773 and was buried on top of a hill in Karachi. He was a Syed (lineage of the Holy Prophet of Islam). And his burial site for the longest time was a hut on this high ground, which much later, around the 1960s, was built upon to create a mazaar (shrine), with several other modifications assembled over the years. All my life I have felt blessed to be conscious of the saint by the seashore. I can’t imagine the city without his presence.”
Born in 1970 in Lahore (Pakistan)
Lives and works in Lahore (Pakistan)
Lahore based visual artist and researcher in visual culture, Farida Batool completed her Doctorate in Media and Film in 2015 from SOAS, London University. In 2003, she acquired her Master of Arts in Art History and Theory (Research) from the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Australia, and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan in 1993. Batool has taught in many universities, including University of New South Wales, Australia, Beaconhouse National University, and National College of Arts, Lahore, where she is currently officiating the Department of Communication and Cultural Studies. She has travelled extensively and presented papers and presentations at international conferences and workshops including Yale University, USA; Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Montreal, Canada; Oxford University, UK; Jawaharlal Nehru University, India; Itau Cultural, Sao Paulo, Brazil; UNESCAP Jordan; UNIFEM Bangladesh; and has published papers and articles including authoring a book on figurative representation in Pakistani popular culture titled Figure: the Popular and Political in Pakistan, 2004. Batool is interested in developing a comprehensive cultural critique of Pakistani, Islamic, and Western modes of everyday life, which is also reflected in her recent short film for the BBC online called The Clash of Masculinities. Solo exhibitions include “By the High Walls and Closed Gates,” Gandhara Art-Space, Karachi (2016); “Kahani eik shehr ki,” Rohtas 2, Lahore (2012); “Love in the Time of Cholera,” Canvas Gallery, Karachi (2009); “Maa Tujhe Salaam,” Aicon Gallery, New York, (2009); “Lahore My Love,” Rohtas 2, Lahore (2008), “The Blink,” Rohtas 2, Lahore (2006). Selected group shows include “Where Three Dreams Cross: 150 Years of Photography,” Whitechapel Gallery, London (2010); “Forces,” Portimao Museum, Algrave, Portugal (2009); “Tradition,Technique,Technology II,” Aicon Gallery, Palo Alto, USA (2008); “Beyond Borders: Art from Pakistan,” National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, India (2004); “Interstation: Artists Beyond Boundaries,” Kudos Gallery, Sydney, Australia (2003); and Cairo Biennale, Egypt (1995).
Farida Batool has two works on view at KB17. She uses lenticular prints in which the image changes when the viewer moves position, in order to portray contrasting realities. The two images are often related through the notion of memory or history, with the “earlier” image being both partially erased but also constitutive of the “later” image. This medium facilitates in addressing the social and political realities of Pakistan with a nuanced and poetic expressions often rooted in and supplemented by personal experience.
Born in 1982 in Dadu (Pakistan)
Lives and works in Gwadar (Pakistan)
Farooque Ali Chandio received his MFA from the Institute of Arts and Design, University of Sindh, Jamshoro in 2007. He is currently a Lecturer in Fine Arts at GDA Public Higher Secondary School in Gwadar.
Chandio writes of his drawing for KB17: “I have used graphite to study the linear intricacy of the traditional straw chaabi used for keeping bread…These baskets convey the importance of nourishment, the primal quest in the circle of life. The tattered edges are symbolic of the natural decay that is an inseparable part of life. Grey areas hug the central disc. These represent shadows – shadows that embody the lingering effects of trauma, stored in memory long after the traumatic event has passed.”
Born in 1976 in Karachi (Pakistan)
Lives and works in Karachi (Pakistan)
Fayez Ahmed Agariah works under the aegis of FYZ Art & Design, which is a small enterprise comprising of multitalented artistic individuals from various disciplines other than art. The enterprise functions as an incubator for harnessing the natural potential of its members. It is, he states, “a flexible and nurturing environment to create and experiment with out-of-the-box ideas.”
Fayez Ahmed Agariah writes of his performance for KB17: “A spontaneous view in my garden of delights, where I live under a tree. In a suitcase full of various paraphernalia: fabrics, threads, needles, ropes, wires and other textural elements. After I rise, I start taking out the objects from the suitcase and start arranging them around me as far as my reach goes, without stepping out of the suitcase, I build and I stitch myself to the structure, getting tangled and eventually immoveable. So I stop. And then the whole process goes into reverse. Until I lock myself up again.”
Born in 1987 in Karachi (Pakistan)
Lives and works in Karachi (Pakistan)
Fazal Rizvi graduated from the National College of Arts, Lahore, in 2010 and is an interdisciplinary artist working in painting, photography, installation, video and text. His work has been exhibited locally and internationally, at venues such as the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art. He has taken part in a variety of residencies, including: the Arcus Project Residency, Japan; the British Council Residency at Gasworks, London; and the Murree Museum Artist Residency, Pakistan, as well as being the Art Writer in residence for VASL Residency in 2015. Rizvi has also been a core member of the Tentative Collective since 2014, and currently teaches at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi. Rizvi’s practice began as an intensely personal investigation of changing familial relationships within the framework of the discovery and articulation of sexuality, but later expanded to incorporate the use of outwardly disparate socio-political, cultural and historical events in order to draw parallels and highlight disjuncture. Rizvi is engaged with the vocabulary of loss and absence, difference and dislocation, within the sphere of an increasingly open-ended approach spanning a variety of technical methodologies. His work initiates a dialogue that is intensely personal, yet also pluralistic, questioning notions of identity, memory and erasure.
The exegesis of Rizvi’s work for the Karachi Biennale 2017, Kedgeree, lies in the artist’s introspective investigation into his formative years, from a linguistic standpoint. Beginning as an exploration of language politics within his own trajectory, the basis of which being his predominately Urdu-speaking familial background, the work transcends Rizvi’s individual concern, becoming a collection of visual metaphors which delineate the role that language plays in establishing and preserving class-divides. Displaying his multi-disciplinary approach, Rizvi utilises a variety of media as component parts within a minimalist aesthetic framework to play with the notions of exclusion, division, accessibility and social mobility that are inherent within the landscape of a post-colonial society, through the scope of their linguistic manifestations.
Born in 1977 in Padua (Italy)
Lives and works in Milan and Venice (Italy)
Federico Nero is an Italian video and visual artist. He attended the Institute of Photography and Visual Art of Padua, where he later became a professor. In 1999, as a very young graphic artist, Nero began working for Macintosh Quadra 700, becoming one of the most talented Italians working in the “creative image” field. His passion for art and dedication to photography led him to collaborate with artist Michael Lin in Shanghai, director Pedro Almodovar in Madrid and sculptor Adolfo Barnatan. Nero also worked as an assistant to fashion designer Vittorio Moltedo – founder of Bottega Veneta. In 2006, drawing upon his mixed professional experiences, Nero began to work as a fashion photographer in Milan with Safilo Group, creating campaigns for Louis Vuitton and Fendi. His photographic works and video installations as a contemporary artist are the result of ongoing research between inner and outer world, religion and science, philosophy and history. His solo shows include “Supersymmetry” curated by Carola Cometto, Riviera International Film Festival, Ex Convento dell’annunciata, Sestri Levante, Italy (2017) and “Supersymmetry” curated by Carola Cometto, CB32, Milan, Italy (2016).
Taking on the theme of KB17, Nero throws a direct gaze at his generation. As he explains: “We occidentals, passive and blind, sons of superficiality and ego, simply don’t see.” In his video, an open-air party near a water purification plant starts while faraway noises of shooting, helicopters and bombings grow ever near. “The world falls apart and we dance,” says the artist.
Born in 1954 in Havana (Cuba)
Lives and works in Miami (USA)
Gilda Pérez is among the pioneers of modern Cuban women photographers. She was one of the first photographers (and the only woman in a group of six) to exhibit in the United States during the Cold War, at the University of California in 1982. She has had numerous solo exhibitions in Cuba, Spain, Switzerland, Canada and Venezuela and been part of group shows in more than 50 countries. Her most recent group exhibition was ¡Cuba, Cuba! 65 Years of Photography presented by the International Center of Photography, New York in 2015. Her work is included in renowned photography collections, including the Mexican Council of Photography (Mexico) and the Musée de l´Elysée (Switzerland). For 20 years she made Venezuela her home, but now lives and works in the US.
Gilda Pérez is exhibiting work from her series Out of Home for KB17. Of her practice, the artist writes: “As a photographer I have always been looking for spaces of quotidian life that do not get enough attention from us. I am not talking about the myth of photographers who see what common people do not see. I am talking about things that do not seem important: an abandoned doll in a yard, a lonely man contemplating a landscape, a rundown gas station, an old fashioned car parked in front of an iconic theater in Havana, my own house. I am also interested in the lives of ordinary people: farmers, workers, passengers. Those are my punctums (to put it in the words of Barthes). My punctums are the small realities inside reality. In that sense, my work is influenced by photographers such as Walker Evans, David ‘Chim’ Seymour, Dorothea Lange and Imogen Cummingham.”
1965 (Mbouda, Cameroun) - 2011 (Bonendale, Cameroun)
Lived and worked in Bonendale (Cameroun)
Goddy Leye (AKA Godfried Kadjo) was, and very much remains, a central figure on the Cameroonian contemporary art scene. His practice as a multi-media creator and, in particular, his pioneering video work introduced the latter genre to Central Africa in the 1990s. As a teacher and a mentor, he played a key role in the emergence of an entire generation of Cameroonian artists, several of whom have gone on to successful international careers. From 1986 to 1989, Leye attended the University of Yaoundé. While working on a Master’s degree in African literature (which he received in 1990), he simultaneously studied with art historian and artist Pascal Kenfack (1987-1992). From, there, he moved on to the National Institute in Bamako (Mali), where he studied in 1994, the ZKM Karlsruhe Centre for Art and Media (Germany, 1997), the 18th Street Arts Complex (Santa Monica, California, 1997), and the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten (Amsterdam, 2002). Determined to help develop the art scene in his native Cameroon, in 2002 Leye settled in the village of Bonendale, on the outskirts of Douala, the country’s economic capital. There, he founded the Art Bakery, a research and residency space where he welcomed young artists in quest of training in multimedia, installation, video and digital practices. While numerous projects and residencies took him abroad on a regular basis (to London, Cairo, Guangzhou and multiple cities in between), he always returned to the Art Bakery, his primary focus from 2002 until his untimely passing in 2011. Leye received key prizes for his work as an artist and an educator from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Rockefeller Foundation and UNESCO. An ambassador for the Creative Africa Network (CAN), he sat on expert committees the world over.
Goddy Leye’s iconic video The Beautiful Beast is on view at KB17. In it, a man writhes on the ground against a pixelated field. We know nothing of him, save that he seems in pain. Or might he be grinning? The image is violently disturbing. Overhead, coming in waves, is a soundscape: Fritz Lang’s 1927 masterpiece, “M”. A Hitlerian voice battles with another, a voice of reason and demand: demand that the man on the ground be treated with care or perhaps, simply, with basic human sympathy. We will never know which voice wins out.
Born in 1975 in London (UK)
Lives and works in London (UK)
Gordon Cheung studied painting at Central St Martins College of Art and at the Royal College of Art, London from where he graduated in 2001. He is best known for his epic, hallucinogenic landscapes constructed using an array of media including stock page listings spray paint, acrylic and, most recently, inkjet and woodblock printing. Gordon Cheung’s work is in international collections including MoMa, Hirshhorn Museum, Whitworth Museum, ASU Art Museum, The New Art Gallery Walsall, Knoxville Art Museum, Hiscox Collection, Progressive Arts Collection, UBS Collection and the Gottesman Collection. Notable group exhibitions include the John Moores Painting Prize 24, The British Art Show 6 and the Azerbajjan Pavillion at the 56th Venice Biennale.
Fishing for Souls is originally a 1614 oil on panel painting by the Dutch Golden Age artist Adriaen van de Venne in the collection of the Rijksmuseum. It was made during what is considered to be the birth of Modern Capitalism with the rise of the East India Trade Company built from militarised trade routes, colonisation and slavery. At the left are the Protestant and at the right the Catholic. Both fish for souls in the wide river dividing them showing an allegory of partition between the Northern and the Southern Netherlands that occurred with the Beeldenstorm, a destructive period of religious imagery. The high resolution photograph of the painting has had an open source sorting algorithm re-organise its pixels into over 4000 images where nothing is erased, destroyed or copied. These are then stitched and looped together in an animation programme. The visual results are a form of deliberate glitching. A glitch is usually a mistake in a technological representation of an image but here it is appreciated for its beauty and how it reveals the multiple dimensions of representation. The digital fracturing of the image simultaneously reveals the technological space of what creates the image, the physicality of the screen and the illusion of image. In these multi-dimensions of reality we are offered a space to meditate and question the narratives of histories. By using this computational code to re-order the pixels the effect results in a mesmerising digital sands of time effect that metaphorically suggests the repetition of histories from the classical to the digital age.