KARACHI: If you enjoy the art of political humour then Sanat Gallery's new exhibition will definitely satisfy your taste.
Artist Anas Ghauri's solo exhibition, titled 'Seedha Ulta [Downside Up]', presents the chaos of the world with the help of 'Thatcher effect', which was demonstrated by Peter Thompson in 1980 by creating an illusion where it becomes difficult to detect features on an upside down face. The Lahore-based artist graduated from National College of Arts, Lahore, in 2014. While using the medium of graphite and charcoal on paper, Ghauri has showcased eight images all poking fun at the current political order.
While most of these images were untitled, one was a direct pun on the policemen. Titled 'Policeman' the drawing depicts an invisible figure wearing the police uniform upside down; the shirt is in place of pants and vice versa.
Another, titled 'Phati Bunyan [Torn vest]' portrays the condition of white collar workers, who work day and night but earn peanuts for their effort. Perhaps it is suggestive of the capitalistic conditions which have forced people into a rat race; everyone is engrossed in an effort to do better than others. Six of the images have been portrayed using the Thatcher effect, including images of politicians such Asif Ali Zardari, General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan, Sheikh Rashid and Altaf Hussain, whose picture was not exhibited. The politicians who were depicted as glaring out in the open, with face-cut placed upside down, were best to be described as men who when unmasked pose a different image. In this case, however, this also depicts a changed view of their faces, by revealing an altered person.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Ghauri remarked that he was born in a family of journalists. "Since the beginning, I have been introduced into the world of newspapers. Hence, political awakening has always been there," he said. "I find it very amusing to see how the politicians treat us all like mere puppets in their hands," he added. Speaking about the reason for showcasing this exhibition in the port city, Ghauri said that Karachi-ites have a stronger art sense than people in Lahore. Sanat Gallery director Abid Merchant spoke about the experimental style of the artist. "This experimentation has made it all the more interesting. It's impressive as well as interesting. I just love the way how the Thatcher effect has taken preference in here. This is something that has been done possibly for the first time in Pakistan," he added.
The show will continue till August 13.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2016.
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