22 October - 5 November 2017
Paolo De Grandis as International Curator will preside over the first Karachi Biennial which will be held from 22 October to 5 November 2017 in 12 locations in Karachi.
Yoko Ono with the memorable ONOCHORD video made for OPENASIA 2004 and Michelangelo Pistoletto with the Terzo Paradis who continues his journey to become the recycling material of Pakistani industry, Sarah Revoltella, Max Papeschi, Marco Nereo Rotelli, Elisabetta di Sopra, Federico Nero are the artists selected by Paolo De Grandis, in addition to the video-artists of Hybrid Suite - MIH Made In Heaven, Candy Candy / Patrizia Chianese, Laura Federici - curated by Claudio Crescentini and chosen for this first edition of the Karachi Biennale directed by Amin Gulgee.
On the occasion of the inaugural tour of the first Karachi Biennale, Paolo De Grandis will take part in an international symposium to talk about his commitment to the art world: from the 118 exhibitions organized at the Venice Biennale, of which 64 national participations and 54 collateral events, to the Taiwan's first participation in the Venice Biennale in 1995, the design of the external pavilions of the Venice Biennale outside the canonical areas of the Giardini and the Arsenale, the long-term project "From La Biennale di Venezia & OPEN to MACRO" up to 20 years of OPEN, International Exhibition of Sculptures and Installations.
The Karachi Biennial will host over 150 artists from Pakistan and around the world. Their works will be exhibited in numerous venues in the city including the monumental Narayan Jagannath Vidyala Hight School (NJV). Founded in 1855, the NJV is a building of great historical and cultural value; seat of the Sindh Assembly has trained numerous social and political leaders of the country. Today, however, only a small part of the building is used and the Karachi Biennale intends precisely to bring attention, re-evaluate and fully revive this important landmark in one of the most populated cities in the world, allowing access to new spectators for re-discuss the history of Karachi, often overshadowed by rapidly growing tensions.
Since the 1950s, when Karachi has grown from a small port to a mega urban center, the city has attracted a large number of independent thinkers. It has been the home of many influential modern and contemporary artists. Its gallery circuit is unrivaled in the country and is one of the liveliest in South Asia. Pakistan has begun to play an important role in the global map thanks to the interest that has developed around the international achievements of its artists. These results reflect the depth and vitality of the country's artistic production.
Through exhibition architecture, symposia, performances and numerous visitor programs, the Karachi Biennial will combine creative energies and new sparks in the local and international art landscape.
The theme chosen for this first edition is “Witness”: artists as witnesses. Art as a testimony of its time has always had great importance and significance, especially in times when memory is deeply contested if, as Kundera affirms, "The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against 'oblivion".
The goal of the Karachi Biennale is to bring art to public spaces by generating awareness, commitment and public involvement through projects that interact with the viewer to create a democratic and accessible platform.