What cost does global urbanisation have on us, our land and our relationships? Naiza Khan is a leading visual artist based in Karachi, Pakistan, her new exhibition, ‘Disrupting the Alignment’ comes to DJCAD’s Cooper Gallery this month.
Naiza Khan’s work intensely interrogates the costs that globalised urbanization incurs upon the fragile relations between a land and its people. Employing a questioning gaze that evades being a mute recording of what appears; Khan’s work negotiates and interrupts the spoils of progress to ask questions of artistic agency and its place in the social realm.
One of three film works featured in Khan’s exhibition is the Observatory, an evocatively haunting film of a derelict observatory on the coast of Manora Island. Playing in a continuous loop, the film interleaves images of decaying architecture with a reading of weather reports from 1939, discovered in the building. This pathos of a ruined, but latently alive past is also drawn out in Homage: embodying a sensitive understanding of powerlessness and marginalization, this film charts a subtle sculptural intervention that offers a glimpse of how an artist can memorialize a tragic event, the death of four school children, whilst evading the suffocating spectacle of the monumental.
Alongside these powerful film works Khan will exhibit watercolours which expand the landscape of Karachi and Manora Island taking it to an imagined elsewhere to explore the shifting psychological and cultural dynamics that build up the spirit of a place.
Khan’s work offers a complex and nuanced perspective on contemporary Pakistani society and the challenges it is facing. In recognition of this, Khan was awarded the 2013 Prince Claus Award, which honours outstanding achievements in the field of culture and development.
Disrupting the Alignment will Preview on 16 January, 5.30-7.30pm in Cooper Gallery. The team hope you can join them for these events to celebrate Khan’s first major solo exhibition in Scotland.
As a satellite to Khan’s exhibition, Cooper Gallery will also present a programme of artists’ film by emerging artists from Pakistan in February.
Disrupting the Alignment – Naiza Khan
Dates: 17 Jan – 15 Feb 2014 – Preview 16 Jan, 5.30-7.30pm
Location: Cooper Gallery, DJCAD, Perth Road, Dundee