The timing was perfect; had this installation taken place today it would have been next to impossible to make it to Amin Gulgee’s studio next to Bilawal House. The city has been virtually at a standstill for over ten days but you’d be surprised at how much activity has been taking place regardless. What do people do? Life, while you’re living it, can’t be put on a standstill.
Life goes on. And so does love. That is what Amin Gulgee brought to attention with this artistic activity that featured an eclectic mix of artistes from all facets of creativity. The theme, Riwhyti: One Night Stand was an evening of performance art/live installation allowing these artistes to express ways in which they interpreted love.
A musician found obsession in the clamour of cymbals, a designer in a trunk full of rags that could serve no purpose to the lay-eye, a couple celebrating “channa love” and a woman reminiscing her love for her swimming pool as her memories rippled through freedom to the confines of a marriage. Wearing a maillot then a burka, she rested on her lounger and allowed you to hear her story on her iPod.
There were over a dozen installations in all, each one of them intriguing though I couldn’t personally look into all of them personally.
Fayez Agariah, that eccentric talented boy who could have made it big in fashion sat under the stairwell, going through a trunk of odds and ends.
Paraphernalia, he wrote, could: “Stitch me up, Tie me down, Into my skin, Without a sound.”
By curating this artistic space, Amin Gulgee gave so many artists as well as the audience an opportunity to express themselves without inhibition. It took all of eight months to put together, he shared.
Frieha Altaf’s Fifteen Minutes of Fame was every individual’s love for attention, for the spotlight. And Munawar Ali Syed, instead of flushing with love was ‘Gasping’ as he encased himself in a giant balloon while he blew air into smaller balloons inside. The idea was to deprive ones self of oxygen and allow smaller beings to exist. It was an intelligent portrayal of society’s intolerance that has to be curbed.
There was a lot of light and shadow, which I felt acted as illusions (and delusions around us). The smoke in the air stood as the very concrete smokescreen that we have around us, shrouding us from facing the reality of life in Karachi.
And the noise was a little deafening, but then noise is what we have learnt to live with. Noise is what we have learnt to love with.