KARACHI: Sivim Naqvi, the assistant curator at Clifton’s Gandhara-art Space, named her first singularly curated show “Whitewash” because, in her words, “none of this work is permanent. It’s all going to be whitewashed over.”
In a polka-dot kameez, Naqvi appears younger than her 24 years, but she is solemn and earnest about the mission of this show. “We talked a lot before we started working. We wanted to question value and exchange, to address what is personal space and public space, what is studio versus gallery,” she said.
In Whitewash, the works of art cannot be separated from the gallery itself, because the art is the gallery — or rather the art is the gallery walls, as altered by paint, projection or literal deconstruction. None of the pieces can be purchased, and once the show closes and the walls are repaired, they will cease to exist.
The concept of unsaleable art in a commercial gallery is not groundbreaking, but it is unique in Karachi, where, according to 24-year-old Karachi artist Reem Khurshid, “galleries are about pushing a product, not owning a space.”
This has been happening practically under my nose (give or take a couple of hours northeast) and I have not been paying enough attention–definitely a sign that I spend too much time on etsy. But I consider this further proof that Mississippi is among the more awesome *states* (of existence). So, here is our answer to Dash Snow, Ryan McGinley, Aurel Schmidt and the like, as featured in Impose magazine.
Photos shamelessly stolen from Cats Purring tumblr site.
So this is Living Walls Part 3, I guess…or maybe instead of Living Walls: The City Speaks, this is Living Walls: The Conversation Continues. Or maybe you could even call it Living Walls: The Assault.
I’ve just heard that some of the Living Walls murals have already been painted over, most notoriously by a local writer named Vomet. Here are photos of the Swampy/Gaia/Greg Mike wall, taken from the Living Walls Facebook page:
The FB reaction ranges from people cheering Vomet on and complementing his style to disappointment, outrage and casual acceptance.
“OX moves beyond the common practice of simply appropriating public space for the proliferation of personally meaningful marks or imagery by incorporating aesthetic elements of a piece’s environment into the language of the piece itself. The result is work in a place that is also about that place and therefore about anyone who is in that place to see it. The status of the commandeered public space is elevated from that of mere canvas to objet d’art—the viewer graduates from witness to participant, completing the work by observing it.”
Artist Daniel Clay’s take on his Living Walls experience, at Burnaway, an online arts magazine out of Atlanta. The editor Jeremy Abernathy asked a few disparate parties (including me!) to weigh in on the conference. Check it out here.