Alhamra Art Centre, Lahore (PK)

18.03.2018 – 31.03.2018

Qudsia Rahim (PK), Mariah Lookman (LK), Zarmina Rafi (PK)

Awami Art Collective (PK), Amar Kanwar (IN), Ali Kazim (PK), Aisha Khalid (PK), Waqas Khan (PK), Naeem Mohaiemen (BD),
Shirin Neshat (IR), Imran Qureshi (PK), Shahzia Sikander (PK), Kay Walkowiak (AT), a.o.

For LB01, Kay Walkowiak presents the photographic series Rituals of Resistance (2017) - that addresses colonial visual ethnography in the early twentieth century - together with the short film Anonymous Objects (2018).

The series of eight black-and-white photographies printed on textile, titled Rituals of Resistance, depicts eight minimalistic painted objects with monkeys sitting or leaning on them. Each monkey, while seeming to be posing, is apparently unimpressed by the abstract artwork, which stands out against the rich background of 18th century Mughul influenced architecture. By referring to the early history of colonial visual ethnography in the early 20th century, in which photography was used as a tool for qualitative research, the set-up and composition of the pictures is reproducing a certain style of documentation. The arranging of people like objects in front of the camera is a well-known style in the history of Western visual culture. Rituals of Resistance therefore analyses and responds to the cultural legacies of colonialism and its visual culture by subverting its deep-rooted power structures: the monkeys degrade the Western artworks as mere objects by occupying them in very mundane-looking “rituals of resistance”, with all glories of the intellectually distinct higher cultures of the West being taken down instantly in a graceful manner.

In Anonymous Objects, five iconic modernist art objects tell the stories of their existence "living" in different places in Hong Kong megalopolis. As objects of a pre-colonial past, their present-day post-colonial identity crisis is expressed: they exist in a vacuum at the edge of schizophrenia, timeless, without location and without redeeming end. Anonymous Objects is about the narrative comprehensibility of form and its function as a projection surface for timeless utopias in a global context, based on the different cultural-historical attitudes of the "East" and "West" in today´s post-colonial Hong Kong.

This project was commissioned by and produced in collaboration with Phileas - A Fund for Contemporary Art.

Text: Lahore Biennale Foundation, Lahore 2018 
Photos: (c) Studio Kay Walkowiak

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