Portraying the “ridicule of war from a neutral perspective”, artist Khadim Ali’s works at ‘Latitude 28’ in Delhi appeal for reflection. But when his exhibition opened to art connoisseurs on Thursday evening, the Australian artist was absent. The Pakistani passport holder was unable to travel to India as his visa is yet to be sanctioned.
“He applied more than a month ago, we hope he still gets it,” says Bhavna Kakar, owner of Latitude 28, who also has a show of Pakistani artist Waseem Ahmed scheduled to open later this year.
While the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA) might have passed a resolution Thursday to temporarily ban all Pakistani artists in India, works of several Pakistani artists are currently on display in the capital.
While Gallery Threshold’s group exhibition “Revisiting Beauty” features works of Pakistani artists Aisha Abid Hussain and Wardha Shabbir alongside their Indian counterparts, the Kiran Nadar Museum (KNN) of Art in Noida is hosting an exhibition, “Enactments and each passing day”, where the works of Indian and Pakistani artists have more political overtones.
Working between Berlin and Karachi, and having spent some years in India, Bani Abidi juxtaposes the two sides of the border in her videos on display at KNN, Noida.
In her first video, Mangoes, she has a split screen with two women, Indian and Pakistani, reminiscing their childhood as they eat mangoes. The encounter turns sour when comparisons begin on the range available in the two countries.
Her two-channel video, News, on the other hand, is a mock news programme being broadcast on either side of the Indo-Pak border, presenting separate versions of the same news event. The comparison is extended to the role of music in the creation of patriotic sentiment, in the video ‘Anthem’.
Artist Rashid Rana’s video “Ten Differences”, also on display at KNN, addresses the rivalry over the Kashmir Valley which has impacted relations between the two nations.