from April to June 2009
“Traveling Project” to “Internationally distributed Newspaper”
The first part of the show and an accompanying symposium was held in Karachi at the Shanakht Festival and was supported by the Karachi Arts Council. It began with much hope and fanfare on 8th April 2009. By sunset, more than a thousand Karachiites had visited the event. No one could have predicted that this calm social gathering would be disrupted. Several political activists of the dominant political party in Pakistan took offence to a work of art exhibited by another group in the same gallery as Redo Pakistan. They threatened to beat the organizers up if they did not hand over the artist responsible for this “sacrilegious” piece. The gallery was ransacked and many of the exhibits were also badly damaged. Many Karachiites who had come for a peaceful and entertaining night out were scared away. The next day, the artists and organisers took toll of the damage, packed up their exhibits and headed home after the Sindh Government refused to provide security guarantees to the Shanakht Festival organizers.
Our experience with the show and the current situation of the country led us to think of more urgent ways of getting across the idea of reforming the nation at Alhamra Arts Council, Lahore. It was impossible to think that people would even consider coming to the gallery to spend time with the works so carefully put together by the Envisioners. We decided to curate the show in the form of a newspaper and alter the role of the artist as a newspaper vendor.
The handing out of the newspaper to the audience took place in the gallery and outside. The show was much more accessible to the nation than it was ever before. It was received well by the public. The symposium in the gallery space highlighted this new role of the artist as the vendor, being the most urgent and contemporary keeping in mind the scenario of the country.
The Redo Pakistan has NOW become a quarterly newspaper. The 6 page periodical will be in Urdu and English both. It will be printed and published in Lahore-Pakistan, will be distributed internationally.
Every issue will focus on a specific idea outlined by the curating team. Enivisioners will be called out to respond the idea accordingly.
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