SOAS University of London

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

The Journey We Never Made: An Artist Talk with Naiza Khan

Naiza Khan

Date: 24 October 2016Time: 5:15 PM

Finishes: 24 October 2016Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: 116

Type of Event: Seminar

Naiza Khan will provide an overview of her practice and introduce her current body of work, which emerges from a long engagement with Manora Island and the urban landscape of Karachi and its relationship to the sea. Through a range of media she explores architectonic phenomena such as ruins, found objects, and construction sites (as well as the nature of public space that surrounds such sites). In this regard, her practice explores a perceptual and textural building of terrain, as it is linked to witnessed political and social realities that are immediately apparent to present experience, but also the challenges to the present posed by the resurfacing of past realities. The work is grounded in Karachi, but references global phenomena.

Ideas of debris and dust storms, atmospheric climate, and the breaching of borders, emerge central to her current concerns. In contemplating the nature of debris, and its productive quality in space, she looks at the phenomenon of erasure, as well as the multiple ‘presencing’ of objects, such as the boat, the tent, the horizon line, the gutted whale. These ideas rest upon particular conceptual and gestural explorations regarding materiality and embodiment.

Khan trained at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford. Her work has been exhibited widely, including the forthcoming Kochi Biennale, 2016, the Shanghai Biennale, 2012; Hanging Fire: Contemporary Art from Pakistan, Asia Society, New York, 2009; as well as her solo museum exhibition Karachi Elegies, at the Broad Museum, Michigan, 2013. Khan has participated in several international conferences, including Showing, Telling, Seeing: Exhibiting South Asia in Britain, Paul Mellon Centre, London (2016); The Chevening South Asia Journalism Symposium, London (2016); Violence, Insurgencies, Deceptions: Conceptualizing Urban Life in South Asia at the Asia Research Institute, NUS, Singapore (2013), Re-thinking Urban in Pakistan, NED University, Karachi (2013). Khan curated The Rising Tide:  New Directions in Art from Pakistan 1990-2010 at the Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi and is a founding member and former Coordinator of the Vasl Artists’ Collective.  She was member of the Faculty of Visual Art at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi (1991-2009). Khan is the recipient of the Prince Claus Award, 2013.  Currently Senior Advisor at the Visual Studies Department, Karachi University, Khan works between London and Karachi.