The seven deadly sins

20 Aug 2013


Greed by Sara Chapra and Omar Omari.
Greed by Sara Chapra and Omar Omari.

KARACHI: Perhaps the most challenging part of an art installation is to make the aesthetics of an artwork involved in its construction commensurate with the concept that stirred the artist into creating it. Installations are a tricky art form. They often dupe the viewer by their sheer size or by talking more and saying less.

An exhibition titled ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ curated by Arshad Faruqui is under way at the Koel Art Gallery. As can be gauged by the title of the show, it is about the seven sins that mankind has always been asked to steer clear of, and it’s done in a setting that is as contemporary as it gets. Why? It’s done through collaborative installations by architects, artists and a writer.

While one can argue that the seven exhibits in a contextual framework are somewhat literal (for example, the association of a bed or charpoy with the word ‘lust’ does not make the viewer go crazy about its multifaceted interpretation) the creativity that has gone into the thought process defies literality. The same can be said about Samir Sadrudin and Naheed Mashooqullah’s effort.

‘Wrath’ is to do with antagonism, hence Raza Zahid and Pronit Nath depict it as a prickly issue that doesn’t let two entities (read: two neighbours) come close to each other. Mohsin Hamid and Omar Hassan make ‘gluttony’ their subject. The idea that space is being consumed through the excessive desire to eat is pretty simple to present. But eating is here taken as a form of pleasure. And the ephemeral nature of pleasure can be a dangerous thing, for it sometimes devours the devourer.

Sara Chapra and Omar Omari bring to light the political side to ‘greed’. The blood that’s being taken out of containers (or sucked) is not a parasitic urge but a result of inordinate greed to manipulate.

‘Sloth’ by Arshad Faruqui and Seema Nusrat is an attempt at showing how inactivity or lethargy can mess up things in bundles, which manifests themselves at a later stage in life.

Rashid Rasheed, R.M. Naeem and Sadia Rasheed handle ‘envy’ in a collective sense and do not deem it as an individual sin, as it were, whereas Usman Khan, Danish Shahid, Noor Saeed and Saadiya Talat find the letter ‘i’ in the word ‘pride’ as the root cause of all problems. This means, society should get rid of their ‘I’ specialists.

The show will continue till Aug 26.