Blood Lines | Art and culture

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“W.E removes the colors of autumn and winter, but running secretly through our veins, the same things that kept us alive, was a lesson from a crazy artist – a red color like paint. (Oracle Knight) Paul Oster

Artists are fascinated by blood, and everyone else. Every year on Muharram 10, the mourning processions on the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) can be remembered. Blood dripping from freshly torn backs, red shirts soaked after repeated razors, blood clots on self-spraying knives, and blood-stained drains on Stalin, reminiscent of Karbala.

Matter is really about life, because it ensures the work of the body. Since we cannot see blood in our veins or heart, therefore, blood is what comes out of the body: from an injury, a cut, a needle stick, an accident, a knife, a bullet. Blood is associated with pain, sickness and death. It is a symbol of celebration throughout the Muslim world during the annual animal sacrifice (the Pakistani nation has just celebrated Eid al-Adha). It also has to do with more worldly observations such as when slaughtering chickens in our daily diet. biryani.

In recent times, blood has become a metaphor for political and religious references. Often, the two are rooted. During Zia-ul-Haq’s dictatorship, Blood’s artistic talents were first discovered by artists who escaped martial law. They created works from pictures of blood-stained hands, including Saleema Hashmi, from which they were listening. خامسا The hand of the Shiite procession, however, in the context of Zia’s dictatorship, was read as a symbol of resistance, especially when it was drenched in blood.

Blood? No, what replaces blood in red paint, since both blood and paint are liquids, body water is different from water. Perhaps the history of art can be gauged from the extent to which red dye can work for blood: artists who succeeded in converting an important, natural substance into a commercial / synthetic substance. And yet we believe. Looking at the installation blessing of Imran Qureshi’s site on the occasion of Shah Qureshi at the Sharjah Biennale in 2011, which the artist called “the blood of the sea”, we discovered a bloodbath in the courtyard of the Gulf Art event. See, but – of course, it was paint.

Blood has already been a part of the works of many Pakistani artists, most notably Rashid Rana’s Red Carpet I 2007, a large digital print that looks like a Persian carpet, but upon closer inspection of an altar in Lahore. Numerous photos surfaced, details of blood, recent mutilation of animals and meat. Formal slaughter and killing of animals for food was the norm, and never reached the level of the subject of art. Accidents, shootings, crimes were also a common occurrence, no more deserving than a paper column. In the recent past, we have also witnessed violence in the form of terrorism. It changed our minds.

Artists in Pakistan, like everyone else, were trying to tackle terrorism, with works that were primarily bloody – the real source of atrocities perpetrated by fanatics and militants. But with that said, no one can deny the beauty, the pictorial appeal and the remarkable power of blood. Therefore, we find images of blood spilling from the neck, arms or chest of the enemy, which are often presented in the mediocre images of the Mughal courts. Similar attention to blood can be seen in Quentin Tarantino’s films, Kill the bill (2003), in which once a Japanese woman’s arm is amputated, she begins to bleed like a fountain. His second film also has a lot of blood, Stock dogs (1992) It slips everywhere – to the point that it becomes abstract.

If one collects images of violence in Mughal manicures, Tarantino films, works of contemporary Pakistani artists, one realizes that art depicts violence, but also a place with it. provides. A mirage An illusion Or escape? Once you start praising Qureshi, Rana, Hashmi and many other works, you start to increase immunity from blood (read violence). Artists who have focused on the issue of violence and terrorism in society, often Prepare works that are ‘beautiful’ and will be praised for their wonderful aesthetics.

Well, because in the history of art, works created on specific subjects and purpose are now admirable for other aspects: formal, historical, autobiographical. Likewise, works of art made about blood today will be appreciated only for red (perhaps they still are). It doesn’t bother the artists because they are dealing with blood, but not handling blood. Most of them are bloodthirsty. However, for some people, blood is another meaning of blood, the stain of proving the virginity of the newlyweds.

Saira Sheikh, in her amazing work, addresses this aspect of blood: red spots indicate this instability and frustration in our culture. The colors in his mixed media work are as strong and spectacular as the shadows of roses in the back garden.

Artists are translating / transmitting – coloring the blood in a variety of colors provided by Crying or Winsor & Newton. On the other hand, some artists have used blood to create art. British artist Mark Quinn, creating a self-portrait, casts his head, “dipped in frozen silicone, with ten traces of his own blood.” Recalling one of the other artists who used blood to create art, Iqbal Jeffrey wrote love letters to Nelo (a famous film actor in the sixties and seventies) in his own blood, somehow confirming this. Of, or commented on the expression of extreme love – a letter of love revealed in blood

Physically, blood disappeared from Pakistani art after these art loves, even when I arrived at a small painting presented by Kanwal Tariq for a group show at the Elhamra Art Gallery.

Not familiar with the artist, the article or the history, I felt compelled to hang this small canvas in a prominent place, only to discover later that there was no good, reddish surface. Painting. The artist’s father bought and sacrificed a hen, and instead of the edge of a blue plastic barrel (as is customary in poultry shops), he cut the space on a blank canvas, which was later stretched. Was put on, then sent for exhibition.

The sweeping and meaningful marks were not gray-red brush strokes, but the blood of a dying hen, which was thrown on the tail of her death – in an attempt to breathe. So what I saw was not comfortable, uncluttered, calculated or careful brush strokes made by the artist in a studio to mimic the aesthetics of abstract expression. All this was recorded on a bare fabric, an expression of a style that is struggling to survive. In a sense, art, and all the other creative endeavors of mankind, fall into the same category.


This writer is an art critic based in Lahore.



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