LAHORE - A session titled ‘Art speak with Kay Walkowiak’ was held at Alhamra Adbi Bethak on Monday.

The session highlighted the journey and artworks of Artist ‘Kay Walkowiak’ who showcased two short film shot in Hongkok and India.

‘Art speak’ is a public programme first initiated by the Lahore Biennale to provide a platform for critical discourse on diverse topics of interest to creative practitioners.

The session was curated by Aziz Sohail who highlighted elements of artistic practices, with the audience being a key interlocutor. It allowed the audience to engage with work on display and for the artists to re-examine their own practices.

Kay Walkowiak studied sculpture, multimedia and photography in Vienna, Australia. Walkowiak’s work concerns ideas of timeless idyllic spaces formed as a reflection upon the constant between socio-cultural and historical discourses.

In his first short film ‘Anonymous Objects’ five iconic modernist art objects tell the stories of their existence living in different places in the densely populated metropolis Hong Kong. As objects of a pre-colonial identity crisis is expressed; they exist in a vacuum at the edge of schizophrenia, timelessness, without location and without a redeeming end. Anonymous object is a work on the questions of the narrative comprehensibility of form and its function as a projection surface of timeless utopias in the global context, based on different cultural historical attitudes of the ‘East’ and ‘West’ in today’s post colonial Hong Kong.

In the second short film, Dislocated Trances, the artist highlighted Hindu rite of Durga Puja, in which figures of the goddess Durga are thrown into the River Ganges to symbolize the perishing of the old which in turn allows the emergence of something new. Dislocated Traces features four objects of perfect basic geometric shapes that are carried through the narrow lanes of the ancient city of Varanasi down to the river. They are loaded onto boats from which they are later placed in the middle of the river. The concrete passive forms meet with a dynamic movement of constant renewal. Every matter becomes a vanishing trace in India's holy river. The objects float slowly like in a minimalist installation until they disappear into the distance.

Talking to this scribe, Kay Walkowiak said the Indian short film you have seen today is about sculptures, which were placed in the river of Durga Puja and let them float away. For me this work was important because it was really inspired by Asian philosophy and tradition. If I get a chance to come to Pakistan next time I will love to highlight the rich culture of this country as well. 

EXHIBITION

Earlier, an exhibition of paintings and photographs opened at the Alhamra Art Gallery.

Artist Naila Mahmood highlighted kitchens in the inner city of Karachi through her photography clicks. The project consisted of photographs texts and reflective poetry about the city of Karachi, its migratory history and urban citizenships.  Salman Toor, who lives and works in New York, through his project highlighted painting collage and installation and connection of Lahore city to New York city.

The forms in his work aimed to create an interface between seemingly divergent understanding of an over-connected world, developing societies like Lahore and microcosms of cultures like Brooklyn’s art scene where the artists lives and works.