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May 6, 2011 / the s.a. project

blogger biatch

warning: Long ass post about lots of things. skim search read chew spit. thuuu*

Quite recently I had been thinking about this blog and my writings and talking about art from a very selective opinion (mine alone). I was wondering if anyone cared. Especially, since much of the pakistani blogosphere is usually abuzz with current affairs and/or politics. Does my little yellow blog feature more than a blip somewhere in there?

Then someone on facebook posted a link on my page that informed me about a grant for art bloggers. Really? Is it true? Someone in the world cares about art blogging?! Well the excitement didnt last long…it was only for US citizens. Of course. They seem to care about everything AND they pump resources and energy into development/progression of whatever it is they care about…duck hunting/cat-on-tree rescues/save the polaroid (i like that one) and blogging about art. Oh well seems like I’ll be a big round lonely planet for some more time to come. How cool would it to be make money from being an opinionated bastard?… Oh yeah I forgot, we already have loads of them! heheh! anyway…more mumblings later.

So last week I had an interesting session with the NCA MA VA 1st year in the 3rd Space Seminar. This time I was invited to talk to them and we spent a good few hours throwing general knowledge and misconceptions back and forth. Most of the new batch are professional artists with a couple of exhibitions stacked up in their resumes and have also been teaching at various prestigious colleges. They have enough of their own individual first-hand experience with the art market and based on that have made up their minds about whats out there. But that experience is not necessarily a plus point when it comes to an open dialogue because the group will have to overcome their own experiences to accept different explanations or paths. The first talk was warmish. Let’s see how soon they head to fiery exciting-ness – I’m looking forward to some yelling!

On the arty party front:

Photographs courtesy Minaa Mohsin - 39k

About 2 weeks ago I made my way to Abdullah Qureshi’s 39k gallery (websitefacebook page) for ‘New Works at 39K‘, a group show of 5 people: Rakshanda Atawar, Tabinda OmarAbdullah Qureshi and Mehri Imani and Yuui Kim (the last two are London-based Iranian and Korean artists). I had written briefly about a 39k show late last year as well here: the show goes on, and I wrote a critique on curatorial and other issues. Since I’ve been writing this blog, it was the first time that the critique was welcomed by a gallery and also posted on their group page on fb. Bravo!

And when I went this time I noticed that the exhibit now was much better thought out and there wasn’t a sense of urgency to fill in all the work every artist produced on every possible wall space. I’m not saying it was because of me…I wish! But I feel it’s predominantly because the gallery owners are trying to develop better practices and are open to constructive feedback. Last time I had talked to several of the young artists in the show about placement of their work and how it was a terrible choice to stuff a painting on a wall next to wardrobe closet space (39k is a residence created into a gallery). This time those niches were concealed with pretty white false walls. yay! Again, the staircase display that had bothered me so much last time was used as an installation space in this exhibit. Whether it worked or not aesthetically, the credit lies in understanding the dynamics of a permanent feature of a space – one that must not be ignored.

Coming to the work itself, I think the content remained safe and the choice to present the work safer still. I didn’t agree with Tabinda’s choice of frames or the amount of work Abdullah had put up, but I was quite taken by Abdullah’s photo piece by the wall (the one featured in the images above) and I enjoyed the drawings of Rakhshanda. I love drawing…with a passion and am quite excited about galleries showing drawings. One of the rooms upstairs featured works of Mehri and Yuui as part of the 39k collection. That in itself is an ambitious addition. Good for the gallery to be introducing our audiences to young international artists.

I think there’s a lot that a space like this can achieve. It’s decision to work with young people and regularity in exhibitions showcases its perseverance in this difficult, expensive and competitive field. Conducting workshops is yet another way to make the process educational. However, it has yet to push the boundaries of ‘experimentation’ and it would be interesting to see some new media work and perhaps even recitals and performances. Oh what fun!

So here’s thumbs up to 39k for their hard work and ‘youngness‘ and thumbs down for not giving me sandwiches with my tea!

Coming back to drawing, check out this absolutely gorgeous idea for an exhibition: whitewash at the Gandhara art space. I’m so jealous I’m not in it I could take an eraser to those walls. :-p.

 In the same line of thought, The Drawing Room gallery is taking a “dynamic group show featuring contemporary artists and modern masters” from Pakistan to Dubai…except that it doesn’t feature a SINGLE female! Guerrilla Girls are you listening!

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7 Comments

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  1. shalalae / May 6 2011 2:09 am

    I know I’m a dork but I care ALOT about your ‘bip blog’. Honest. Every time there’s a new post I get excited…If i were rich i would give you my moolah.

    • the s.a. project / May 6 2011 7:59 pm

      wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee*!
      when i’m rich i’ll buy my cat real cat food. then buy some real art. then place them together.

  2. Marria / May 6 2011 1:07 pm

    Pretty much every other Pakistani blog out there *is* about current affairs and/or politics or personal stuff. I don’t know anybody who writes about art :/.

    And I LOVE the yellow!

    • the s.a. project / May 6 2011 8:11 pm

      i love yellow too. and the yellow sun. loooots of it. and yellow lemon tarts. and frisky yellow dresses. and my big fat yellow blog. 😀

  3. Yakra / May 27 2011 4:53 am

    Random comment from a random follower, that too on a month old post (I just… jump in and mass read your posts once a month!) but~ I like reading your blog… a lot. ^ ^;~ Probably one of the only few that I actually do take time out to follow.

    Your ramblings are most fun to read (if that could be the right word…. more like… is interesting to read through and then go ‘I agree!’ or ‘I most disagree!’) when one is about to yank one’s hair out from painting too much~

    (Just to let you know that your blog does get loved by…. well… probably… lots of someones! X’D)

    • the s.a. project / May 29 2011 6:20 pm

      yes yes yes! I love it when people agree and disagree in the same vein and in the same proportion and the same everything.
      I’m glad you drop by every so often. and pet the alley cat.
      it also gives me very good pageviews which is important because this blog is a secret tool to see how popular i am and whether i’ll make it big or not on tv one day.

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