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ASH… photographic

Author: Mehreen Abid      Publications: Daily Mess. - (p.8) Eventfully      Dated: 15 Dec. 2009

Exhibition Navigation

KARACHI, Dec 10. A solo exhibition of Samina Mansuri was started at Chowkandi Arts Gallery from Dec 9 which would continue till Dec 16. Her Photography shows her desperation towards violence on humanity due to the present condition of our country and world.
A big crowd of people were observed there who showed interest in her work and also appreciated her.
She created large and complex aerial views by stitching many of the photographs together in Photoshop to make a composite image. As an alternative of showing intimate and specific spaces, she is presenting public sites of violence and trauma to address traumatic loss not simply as an isolated and individual process but as a global one.
In her work of series titled ASH, she created architectural / sculptural sets with a variety of available materials bought or found. The materials include wood, metal, plastic, clay, sand, powdered pigments foam, modelling clay, felt and acrylic paint.
She said “I document these sets in digital photography and video. After documentation I dispense with the actual sets as I am interested in the mediated image.” Digital video and photography are malleable and unreliable containers of memory and therefore pertinent for this work. Dualistic thinking between appearances and reality no longer seems to hold. There is another belief and disbelief because of our unlimited ability to alter recorded imagery.
She said “I am looking at media representations of places such as Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq and Pakistan and also the twin towers and places ravaged by natural disasters such as New Orleans” adding that I was questioning the way these places were being represented by the media and how biased images were reinforcing the message by repetition. Essential representations were reinforcing colonialist stereotypes of the “other” and serving as a justification for military aggression and invasion.
She also said “As a starting point for this work, I am taking my reference from the web archives of bombed out places. Viewers around the world are simultaneously detached consumers as well as mediated witnesses to trauma of a place they have not experienced firsthand.”