International Artists’ Residency

October 25 – November 29, 2015

with Ali Sultan & Wei Leng Tay

Vasl invited two artists whose practices were based in photography, for a residency themed ‘Residue.’ From detritus and waste to remnants and traces – the word ‘residue’ was open to reflection and elucidation. Wei Leng Tay from Singapore and Ali Sultan from Lahore explored the bazaars and neighborhoods of Karachi, met numerous artists and visited studios – all the while developing their themes and collecting research material for their work.

Wei Leng Tay picked upon the social residue which traversed upon numerous photographic records. Looking into people’s homes and spaces which they inhabited, Wei Leng was interested in class systems which divide and yet create Karachi. Through continuous exploration her work questioned how the fractures of ethnicity, class, gender, religion and history “break us, mould us, and confront us, as spectators and participants”. Her interviews and conversations with people ranging from tailors, shopkeepers, art students and medical students were recorded meticulously as she uncovered lifestyle differences in class hierarchies that sifted her subjects’ perspectives and inclinations.

I am thinking of Karachi now, of Guy Davenport and of C.D. Wright . Of Karachi under special circumstances, of Davenport and Wright under the same. I am thinking of how Davenport thinks of bicycles and horses and how the difference between the two, the only actual difference, is of imagination. I am thinking of Wright and her poem on the obscurity of poets. One can imagine in Karachi and one can get lost too. I am in no favor of clean apartments, of making art in them because nothing seems hidden. Luck to those, however, who like things in plain view.  People, is all that counts, however, and the people at Vasl is why one should come in the first place. Because above all, it takes one imagination to recognize another one.