KARACHI: The number 7 holds a significant position in the cosmic scheme of things. The world is divided into seven continents, a rainbow is said to have seven colours and the number of musical notes is also seven. There is an aura of mystique around it. Perhaps this is the reason that renowned sculptor Amin Gulgee is fascinated by it.
An exhibition of his works titled 7, which can be viewed at the Amin Gulgee Gallery, is a testimony to the observation.
The focus, mind you, is on the letters, the calligraphic movement of alphabets. The movement is tautological, which means, the viewer can see it over and over, repeating itself. This symbolises the power of the written word: once you get the hang of it, you will find it difficult to remove it from your consciousness. The artist, however, has employed them as, what he calls, ‘scrolls’ that come across as barriers.
Amin elucidates: “The show is called 7. It’s a sentence that I have divided into seven sections. It’s repeated throughout the exhibition. Now you can no longer read any of the text. So it becomes, sort of, my private messages and private love letters. There is also a performance element to the display in which I’ve asked people to write a message to anybody they love and put in a bottle placed by the gallery wall. It’s all private and will be destroyed after the show.
“Then there is the video, an algorithm, where the letters appear randomly on the screen. Each time a letter falls, it is associated with one musical note [sa re ga ma pa dha ni].”
This is an intriguing way of keeping the private as the private and at the same time by putting the message in the amber bottle, people find an opportunity to express themselves publicly without entertaining the thought that their love will be revealed.
The exhibition will conclude on April 7 and later travel to GAM Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Rome, curated by Paolo de Grandis and Claudio Crescentini.
Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2018