KARACHI: As one of Pakistan’s eminent sculptors, Amin Gulgee needs no introduction. His work done in metal is marked by a combination of his personal outlook on life and a concern for the world that functions outside the realm of creativity. But over the last decade or so, he has also found a distinct place for himself in performance art in which he seldom performs alone; it’s a group act which signifies the importance that the artist attaches to a confluence, rather than divergence, of ideas
An exhibition of his artworks titled Spooky Action at a Distance at the Canvas Art Gallery had an opening earlier this month which had the Gulgee stamp all over it. Instead of simply inviting the guests to see the exhibits that he’s put on display, he, a little before dusk, did a performance piece naming it Fairytale 72.
No fewer than 18 artists took part in it. As is expected of such an endeavour, the arrival of masked and unmasked individuals, a few shouting at the top of their lungs, immediately captured the attention of viewers that had packed the gallery space like sardines. With the element of fire used discreetly, the ‘spookiness’ in the whole exercise was evident not as something to scare away the onlookers but as an essential part of modern-day existence.
Amin Gulgee’s exhibition to conclude today
Explaining the concept, the write-up that came along with the invite to the show says, “Albert Einstein dismissed quantum entanglement — the ability of separated objects to share a state or condition — as ‘spooky action at a distance’. These ideas were vindicated, however, in the most recent Nobel Prize for Physics, in which the scientists who have proven the existence of quantum entanglement were rewarded for their contributions to our understanding of that which underpins the most fundamental movements of the world around us.
“Gulgee continuously explores quantum entanglement through the objects he makes. Ideas and threads develop and metamorphose, profoundly affecting one another in the web of his practice. Curated by Adam Fahy-Majeed, Spooky Action at a Distance includes sculptures in iron, copper and bronze as well as experiments in glass and silver leaf. Seven helmets created out of copper and steel inspired by an imagined prehistory are also on view,” it stated.
As can be gauged from the above-given lines, art and science aren’t deemed as polar opposites here. They are mutually reinforcing. Just like the collaborative efforts that Gulgee believes in.
The exhibition will conclude on Thursday (today).
Published in Dawn, February 16th, 2023