The strength of any artistic endeavour lies in its ability to force our attention towards the ordinary and to transform it into something extraordinary. In Koel Gallery`s show Super Duper Perspective, curator and artist Muhammad Zeeshan brings together artists who tell us stories from their everyday lives and present their unique perspective on their ordinary surroundings in exciting new ways.[TOP]
It is not uncommon for certain spaces and objects in our lives that are seemingly inconsequential to gain special significance due to certain associations that go along with them. Ayesha Naveed`s work operates on this idea, documenting the mundane activities surrounding a sofa typically occupied by her father whom she idolises. The works read much like a study of this space and the people that occupy it, focusing more on their activities rather than their identities, finding a certain solace in their daily rituals.
Jovita Alvaris`s work also focuses on the documentation of a space, but for her this is in a much wider sense, encompassing her neighbourhood where she has grown up.
Again she focuses on the mundanity she witnesses each day in various areas that she passes through, in this case, life around a park in that area. The repeated images spread out unevenly across the frame displays aninteresting perspective, almost like a fleeting image viewed from a speeding car, fading slowly, yet barely comprehensible, ingested only in essence. It is reminiscent of all those images we pass by during our daily commute, barely noticing the activities that make up our everyday environment, creating what we perceive as `normal.
Razin Rubin also portrays mundanity but her focus is more on storytelling, coming from her experience within a close-knit family in Sukkur ritualistically sharing the day`s events with each other. After the death of her parents, the act of documenting her day has taken on a symbolic form, acting as a way to connect with her loved ones and honour them. Her dreamy watercolours portray everyday familiar scenes which serve as distractions for her from her loneliness.
Zoila Solomon has an interesting take on art history and pop culture. She replaces characters from old Renaissance paintings with current pop culture icons. Her work is expressive across multiple layers, not only raising comparisons between two different eras and their subsequent cultural ideals, but also raising these pop icons to the status of high art, while devaluing famous works from art history by reproducing them in print.
Through the advent of social media these images have become so easily available in homes much like these pop icons, instead of existing only n galleries or museums as they previously were.
Noshad Ali Khan`s work is the most visually removed from the rest, with a more abstract and geometric approach. His freehand patterns and grids are far from perfect, providing a human quality to them.
They are an attempt to bring order into a chaotic world, an attempt to better understand it perhaps, yet the overlapping repetitions seem to create more convolutions, painting life as messy and human nature as complex and fickle.
The show makes us look at the ubiquitous spaces, moments, people and activities from a new grander perspective. The artists infuse meaning into these seemingly ordinary scenes, putting them in unfamiliar contexts to glean from them greater significance, creating an exciting experience for the viewer in the process.
`Super Duper Perspective` was on display at Koel Gallery in Karachi from September 26 till October 6, 2017