Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
The strategy informing the 'reshape' of Domestic Affairs (a group show that started on 22 June) is to ease the sometimes-limiting process of planning an exhibition and instead focus on an open process of collaboration and dialogue with the gallery's artists and emphasise on new encounters. While the original kernel will be reinstalled, Domestic Affairs: Reshaped becomes a workshop where various artistic operations are facilitated and the works on display become the subject of a double temporality: as individual voices speaking in the present, but also as a collective chorus essential to deploy an on going narrative.
Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, Hesam Rahmanian, Nargess Hashemi, Sara Rahmanian, Edward and Rani St and more, or not, present Counting the Birds that are Heading South, which talks about the gathering of people, old and new friends, fellow and potential artists. It's about conversations and the encountering of individualities around a table. The buffet is composed with each other's presence and thoughts. Poems of Etel Adnan while doodling. The illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string. All moments, past and present always have existed, always will exist. The ego-system of the art world. The urge as to how to reflect our times.
In the room, in this non-linear collective time, gestures and acts take over, as if setting up a play, discovering moments and amassing the unexpected. These disrupted views of made-up and also hard rock reality blur ones role in life and the purpose of things around you is fluid, transient and precarious. Just like the creatures populating this ecosystem, the instigators have decided to let the process of exercising freedom take over, free from expectations and the obligation to produce art.
This time around, Aisha Khalid's Comforter makes its way to the wall to balance lightness with its fierce colour and form, and to eloquently defy the inherent risks of beauty and tradition. Zahra Imani, who is not afraid of beauty and ornamentation, contributes to the reshape of the exhibition with another captivating large-scale drapery that combines visual and tactile qualities of the fabric to render an intimate scene. Nargess and Sara's more expressive investigations of the body delve into intimate gestures in the context of the home. Their canvasses are filled with repetitive and mundane activities. Every motif, form and structure is emphasised upon to allow us to see the qualities and processes of everyday life.
The newly added printed fabric works by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto attempt to articulate a new language. It lifts images from an Urdu translation of an exercise manual written by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the early 1980s. The book is neither fully grounded in the East or the West but in a space of its own creation. American models perform for a Western male gaze but the Urdu script appeals to a South Asian audience. There is a naïve homo-sociality to the book and it swiftly descends into homoeroticism. This subtle tension in means of collaboration also informs Vikram Divecha's video Miziara Architects, where he follows a father and son on their design journey as they debate, collaborate, and show disregard towards the grammar of architecture. Patriarchally divided, the floors are designated for the grandfather, father and son. As the floors stack up, a generation gap unfolds, moving from traditional towards an urban vision.