Monologues: Art in an Age of Flux
Presented as a series of monologues embellished with visuals, Newsline displays five young Pakistani artists who speak of how Pakistan’s contemporary social and political reality affects their work.
Muhammad Ali is a graduate of the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in Karachi.
I respond more strongly to life than to art. You see, it’s a dialogue between me and the public. I strongly feel that I live in interesting times where artists are more bourgeoisie than the bourgeoisie themselves. With the widening social gap, we are progressively being cut off from reality. Our ostentatious bubble has grown grander and we’ve become naturally desensitised to destruction and the catastrophic daily events around us. It’s ironic how we continue to banquet while we watch media coverage of others getting killed on repeat.
The primary goal of my work is to evoke genuine emotions. I seek to exercise the special spectral muscle that flexes in a moment of connection, compassion and intimacy. I take inspiration from my surroundings since the application of context and the lack of feeling created by the production and suppression of art can have a camouflaging effect by donning a colourful mask, while delicately concealing the grotesque reality of contrasting culture and power, that sometimes brutally clash when they turn on each other.
In life there is no normal, there are only expectations. Normalcy is forced upon us our entire lives, significantly through what is acceptable culturally, socially or religiously. My work explores my own cultural clash and conflict of identity, where two or more contrasting themes are often paired together.
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