The Untold Edition — Phases of Planning Part 2

Picking up where we left off:

I then made an event on Facebook so that people could share it and express their interest. It’s also a way for me to keep the interest going by posting as the event date nears.

I had to think about how to make this exhibition interactive. Interacting with an audience is something that has been on my mind since before I began this MA. When I started to take art more seriously in my life, I made a Facebook page. Posting there periodically spurred me to create more and more art. So you could say, the evolution of my art is literally linked to my audience. I remember watching Shilo Shiv Suleman’s magical TED talk. Her digital interactive installations were so inspiring; they spoke to people and connected them to each other. I felt like that was the essence of art, really. Connecting people through art not only became a motif in my life as an artist but also became the way I perceive art in the first place.

Anyway, more on that subject later in a separate blogpost. How to make the exhibition interactive. Here’s a brief I wrote to describe the event and exhibition:

The Untold Edition — Programme brief

The Untold Edition — Exhibition Layout and Ideas

The layout and ideas document describes my plans for the exhibition. Here are three ways I thought of involving the audience into the exhibition:

  1. A digital interactive projection: the audience will see a blank white wall and a mic in front of them. When they speak into the mic their thoughts on Karachi, the projection will began to play. Will describe this project more in the next blogpost.
  2. A chalkboard wall: Ever since I read about the ‘Before I die’ community project I have been inspired to try something similar. It is a simple yet powerful concept. We will create a chalkboard wall at the entrance to the exhibition with a sentence for visitors to fill in. Like a massive guest log!
  3. The cube: I saw this piece called “Eternal and Ethereal” by Open Architecture which was basically a giant stone cube cut into 8000 smaller cubes. Each cube was stamped with a serial number and the name of the exhibition. Viewers were invited to pick up the cubes and rearrange them or remove them and a landscape or cityscape began to emerge as the cube slowly vanished. I have to say the idea has taken root in my mind and I simply must replicate it in some form! To me it signifies the impact we have on the spaces around us. The mark we leave on society, architecture and culture. Let’s see if I can create my own version of this.

During this planning process I also ran into a person whom I could potentially learn a lot from, and who could be quite an invaluable resource in making this event a success. His name is Khalid Soomro and he has been the curator at the historic Mohatta Palace museum in Karachi for 15 years. I have a meeting with him next week as well to see how we can work on this project together.

So what are the next steps?

  • I have received resumes of a few artists interested in helping me execute the project. I have to go through these and select my team and call a team meeting when I arrive in Karachi to brief them on what we need to do.
  • Tickets for the open mic and art circle need to be designed and marketed. I am hoping to get a few similarly themed cafes to sell tickets at their location.
  • I need to get all the artwork to be displayed, including my own, in order.
  • I need to finalize the booking of the venues.
  • I spoke to a friend yesterday who works for TCF as a grants specialists and she suggested a few NGOs I can look into partnering with. If not for this project, then for the next. So I’m going to go have a look and see what I can dig up.

And that’s, broadly, all I’ve done so far on this project. Let’s see how it turns out. In my own words:

I remember when I first tried it (porcelain painting) out, it was so frustrating. The mug was unwieldy, the paint was slippery, the brush was abrasive. It was just impossible to get the paint to stay on the mug let alone give it some shape or form!

But, somehow, I didn’t give up. I had an idea in mind and, for success or for failure, I saw it through to the end.

That, I believe, is what defines the artistic spirit. To imagine something and then persevere till it you see it born. Our dogged pursuit of ideas is what gives meaning to every piece we create.

I have a vision for The Untold Edition. A vision to use art to reunite Karachi hearts and minds. And, for failure or for success, on July 14th I will see it through!

Join the event here: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/…

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