- Session on Politics, Public Space, Karachi Biennale held at Institute of Business Administration
Session On Politics, Public Space, Karachi Biennale Held At Institute Of Business Administration
Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi in collaboration with Karachi Biennale Trust conducted a panel discussion on "The Politics of Art, Public Space and Karachi Biennale" on its main campus
The panelists included Assistant Curator, Karachi Biennale 2019, Noor Ahmed; Trustee, Global Outreach Chair, Karachi Biennale Trust, Atteqa Malik; Head of Corporate Relations and Communications Department, IBA Karachi and President, Tehzeeb Foundation, Mrs. Malahat Awan.
Dr. Naveen Minai started the session by giving a brief history of global art exhibitions.
She said Venice Biennale of 1895 is where the idea of contemporary art exhibitions started. In 1890s, a lot was happening around the world, which affected the understanding of arts and how it was perceived.
Speaking about the understanding of public art and spaces, and the need for the Biennale, Ms. Malik said at the time when the Biennale was envisioned there was a lot of trouble going on in the city and the artist community, which consisted of educators, curators, writers, artists sat together and brainstormed what can be done to (counter) the then prevailing situation. They put art out of the galleries and placed it in public spaces to let the citizens engage with the art.
Ms. Awan emphasized the need for more physical and intellectual avenues and spaces in Karachi where such discourses can be organized.
"For a city like Karachi, we need to have a handful of auditoriums to stage theater and music. Events like the biennale or Tehzeeb festival, Karachi Literature Festival, and ThinkFestIBA Karachi are attended by a large number of people because they like to explore art," she asserted.
Talking about public intervention in public spaces, Ms. Sethi said that any conversation about art and public space could not take place without having a simultaneous conversation about where and how those interventions were taking place.
Ms. Ahmed explained that the definition of public art varies according to the nature of the public.
"We didn't think about the definition of public art when we were designing the theoretical framework of the Biennale. What ultimately came down to is that we are trying to create these connections in the public realm and art would be the medium through which the connection will exist," she said.
She referred to the power of an art form, and its connection with thepublic by giving an example of Allahwali Chowrang, Though the structure does not stand today yet people do connect to the architectural piece.