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Naiza Khan - Disrupting the Alignment
17 January 2014 until 15 February 2014
Cooper Gallery, DJCAD
Preview: 16 January, 5.30-7.30pm
Naiza Khan is a leading contemporary artist in Pakistan, who intensely interrogates the costs that globalised urbanization incurs upon the fragile relations between a land and its people.
Employing a questioning gaze that evades being a mute recording of what appears; Khan’s work negotiates and interrupts the spoils of progress to ask questions of artistic agency and its place in the social realm.
Disrupting the Alignment at Cooper Gallery is Naiza Khan’s first major solo exhibition in Scotland. A filmic installation that incorporates the histories, myths and the ephemeral but always recurring spirit of a place, this exhibition is set to depict and re-inscribe the “interrupted geography” of Karachi and the nearby Manora Island.
Comprised of three films, watercolours, prints and photographic works, Disrupting the Alignment is a re-affirmation of a lost firm ground that gives legibility to the storm of social and economic changes ravaging the contemporary world.
Featured in Khan’s exhibition is the Observatory, an evocatively haunting film of a derelict observatory on the coast of Manora Island. Playing in a continuous loop, the film interleaves images of decaying architecture with a reading of weather reports from 1939, discovered in the building. In her deft re-awakening of a lost past, Khan brings the deteriorating present of the Observatory into an elegiac focus. This pathos of a ruined, but latently alive past is also drawn out in Homage: embodying a sensitive understanding of powerlessness and marginalization, this film charts a subtle sculptural intervention that offers a glimpse of how an artist can memorialize a tragic event, the death of four school children, whilst evading the suffocating spectacle of the monumental.