Rashid Rana’s Art Installation “ Beauty Lies” Wins the Juried Award at the Karachi Biennale 2019
At the opening of the 2nd edition of Karachi Biennale, a jury comprising of local and foreign members announced Rashid Rana’s art installation as the best work in the mega exhibition with 98 local and international artists with their work display at 7 different venues all over the cosmopolitan city of Karachi.
The installation unfolds in two parts; a video projection and a photo montage. In the performative video, Rashid Rana evokes reference to the iconic painting Wanderer above the Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich, as Rana stands amidst one of the largest garbage dumping sites in Pakistan called Kachra Khundi (located near village Jam Chakro about 20 kilometers away from the main city of Karachi). The structure of work reminds of a painting from past but it also repeats/relates to one’s own reality. Of being exposed to waste, especially in the port city of Karachi.
In the second part of the installation viewers come across a photo montage that appears to be seascape from distance but on closer inspection reveals images of trash and waste plastic bags in great numbers, giving the illusion of sea waves with pictures of sailing ships inserted within. Seascape, images of garbage and illustrations of vessels are three chapters of the same story which refers to colonialism and then consumerism that produced affluence (as well as ‘refuse’) far beyond its need or control.