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India And Pakistan Unite for 56th Venice Biennale 2015 Event - ArtLyst Article image

India And Pakistan Unite for 56th Venice Biennale 2015 Event

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The must see collateral event of the 56th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition is the Gujral Foundation's 'My East is Your West', the event of the season. In this exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia unites, for the first time in the history of the Biennale the conflicting nations of India and Pakistan in a shared presentation. Located in the Palazzo Benzon, in the centre of Venice on the Grand Canal, the exhibition is a collaboration between two internationally renowned artists; Shilpa Gupta from India and Rashid Rana from Pakistan. As the subcontinent of India does not possess official state representation at the Venice Biennale, this presentation will provide a unique platform for artists from the region. My East is Your West is conceived by Feroze Gujral, Director and Founder of The Gujral Foundation, with Natas ha Ginwa la as Curatorial Advisor and Curator of Public Programming.
From a shared history, a divided present, we dream a common future – Feroze Gujral. Born out of the desire to reposition the complex climate of historical relations between the South Asian nation-states of India and Pakistan, My East is Your West will bring together these two countries and represent the subcontinent as one. Speculation of how the world would have been different had India and Pakistan never been divided lies dormant but is ever present. In view of their practices, and as one artist from each country, Gupta and Rana have been invited to work together to create a unique presentation that will express the integral essence of a people divided, a history which spans antiquity, colonial modernity and a cosmopolitan present entangled in conflict.
My East is Your West negotiates both artists’ concerns to explore notions of location and dislocation, transnational belonging, and the impact of cultural and political conditioning in determining our relationship to geographical and national territories. With works that challenge the modern nation-state and its divides, Gupta and Rana have developed a material aesthetic that surveys the potential of one common people, separate from the state and its model.

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