Ayesha Jatoi was trained as a Miniature painter at the National College of the Arts in Lahore (Pakistan). Her practice primarily explores the traditional manuscript’s symbiotic relationship between the image and text and the spatial division of these “illuminated pages”.
Ayesha’s installation, Residue, features piles of white garments lying conspicuously in the exhibition space. The piles begin to slowly disappear as the artist Ayesha Jatoi takes each piece of clothing and folds and stacks it across the room. White is the colour of mourning worn to funerals in many cultures of South Asia, and this performance is a metaphorically burdened act in uncertain times of putting away the remnants of love, of longing, of trying to make sense of the senseless: of what, or who, has been lost.
Reetu Sattar is a performance artist working with video, text, objects and photography. She makes time-based pieces exploring presence and absence, memory, loss, resilience and the ephemerality of existence.
Reetu’s film, Harano Sur (Lost Tune), focuses on the harmonium, a musical instrument that is tightly integrated into the traditional culture of Bangladesh, but is in danger of disappearing. The film documents a performance that brought together musicians, each playing three notes of the seven notes of the harmonium. The artist uses the sustained droning sounds as a way to explore the violence and social upheaval that have recently affected Bangladesh. By playing a sustained note, the performers make the powerful statement that they, and their traditions, are here to stay.
Fabric(ated) Fractures, a collaboration between Samdani Art Foundation and Alserkal at Concrete, Dubai, ran from 9-30 March 2019. The seminal exhibition featured works by 15 artists from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Thailand, and Pakistan, who were also part of the foundation’s Dhaka Art Summit initiative.
In this two-part series of Conversations on the Avenue, we discover Fabric(ated) Fractures with its curator Diana Campbell Betancourt, and speak to exhibiting artists Reetu Sattar, Ayesha Jatoi, and Joydeb Roaja about some of the issues they explore through their poignant, powerful practices.
Cover photo by Tara Atkinson.
Hosted by Vinita Bharadwaj, produced by Chirag Desai.