KARACHI: As part of the series of cultural events recently announced by the German consulate and the Goethe Institut, a discussion on art with respect to the 13th edition of an international exhibition, Documenta, was held at the V.M. Art Gallery on Thursday.
Documenta came into being in 1955 in Kassel, Germany. It was founded to keep Germany abreast with contemporary art trends.
The Pakistani artists and curators who were invited to the exhibition included Riffat Alvi and Bushra Hussain.
Addressing the audience, which primarily comprised art students, V.M. Art Gallery director and artist Riffat Alvi said that witnessing the exhibition was an enriching experience for her.
While talking about the international show, she showed the first installation titled Bleeding Trees by Austrian artist Alfred Bradler. One could see in the picture that the artist had changed a forest into a huge sculpture, putting red collars on approximately 600 trees. It’s his way of highlighting how in some parts of the world nature, particularly forests, was being destroyed.
The next slide was of the installation by Chinese artist Yan Lei. It was called Super Lights Iceberg. It was followed by Shinro Ohtake’s work Mon Cheri. Ohtake is a famous Japanese artist and Mon Cheri was dubbed a ‘self portrait’. After that some more interesting installations were shown. For example, Mexican artists Pedro Reyes’ piece Sanatorium was worth watching. But this writer’s favourite among the lot was Ingo Geizendanner’s wall drawing. The artist lives in Zurich. Speaking on the occasion, Goethe Institut Director Dr Manuel Negwer said he deemed the event important, because both countries (Germany and Pakistan) shared many artistic values — music, poetry and literature. He argued that such programmes could help overcome political obstacles as we were going through a difficult time. He added there should be intellectual and aesthetic freedom.
Artist and curator Munawwar Ali Syed and Bushra Hussain also gave presentations, while critic Niilofur Farrukh expressed her views on the subject.