Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Let's Talk - The Jam Jar

Engaging in a conversation requires that as a participant either we become active by responding, questioning, and sharing or on the flip side we become passively involved and simply listen. We ignore, we remain silent or indifferent. A conversation may spark emotion in an exchange of ideas or it may leave one feeling empty, like our time was wasted. At its best a conversation is a series of connections taking off from one topic and flowing into the next that invites the participants to push ideas further and learn from each other.

Let's Talk is an exhibition that invites the spectator to join in a conversation between five Pakistani artists as they respond to each other using interweaving sound and image. Let's Talk is a collaboration project between Grey Noise Gallery in Lahore and The Jam Jar in Dubai.

The central axis of Let's Talk is a small catalogue comprised of actual email exchanges between the artists during the planning phase of the exhibition. It serves as a point of entry into the origins of the conversation so that viewer may jump in and continue where the artists left off. Instead of eavesdropping on a private conversation, like a voyeur to the works exhibited, the emails offer a more complete picture of the tangents, the hanging ideas that have yet to be resolved by the artists themselves.

Each of the artists included in Let's Talk have utilized a diverse range of mediums in order to carry out their conversation. Ranging from miniature painting to new media and installation the communication or lack there of bounces from one artist to the next. Fahd Burki's subtle pieces speak through their silence. Ayesha Jatoi builds tension using text that evoques the sounds of ticking bomb down the length of a corridor resulting with a silent explosion using the word "Boom" and a Siya Kalam miniature painting. Ayaz Jokhio questions the life and death of text using a cluster of six small white graves each with a different book encased within. Mehreen Murtaza's red cube and multi-media prints explore the links between religion and science. Lala Rukh creates an interesting sound piece by incorporating sounds of nature, bird songs, political protest pertinent to the current situation in Pakistan and traditional music.

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