Pablo de Ocampo and Bani Abidi

Public Talk

Saturday, November 24, 2007, 2:00 pm

Gallery TPW and SAVAC are pleased to invite the public for a lively discussion with curator Pablo de Ocampo and artist Bani Abidi on the closing day of The Boy Who Got Tired Of Posing.

On view at Gallery TPW is Bani Abidi’s three-part photo and video installation The Boy Who Got Tired of Posing, a co-presentation with the South Asian Visual Arts Centre (SAVAC). At the center of Abidi’s piece is the story of Mohammad Bin Qasim, an 8th century Arab General who led the campaigns to conquer the Sindh and Punjab lands that would become the modern state of Pakistan. Through three imagined narratives — photographs of a young man believing himself to be Bin Qasim, a series of portrait studio images of young boys posing as Bin Qasim, and a segment of a 1993 made for TV movie about Bin Qasim’s conquest of the Sindh — Abidi looks at ways in which the factual and fictitious threads of history are conflated and confounded in the collective memory. Also on display will be Shan Pipe Band Learns the Star Spangled Banner. With this work Abidi commissions a brass pipe band in Lahore to learn the US national anthem. The result is somewhat discordant as the musicians play the anthem of a contemporary imperial power using the instrumentation of a past colonial legacy.

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Artist Biography

Bani Abidi has been working primarily in video for the past seven years. These works investigate notions of cultural identity and history in her native Pakistan as well as within a global context. Abidi has exhibited extensively at galleries, festivals and museums internationally including ZKM (Karlsruhe), Thomas Erban Gallery (New York), National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (Turin) and has participated in the Singapore Biennale and the 3rd Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial.

Curator Biography

Pablo de Ocampo is a curator and occasional artist living in Toronto where he is the Artistic Director of the Images Festival. He recently relocated to Toronto from Portland, Oregon where he was a co-founder of the experimental film series Cinema Project and was the Executive Director of the Independent Publishing Resource Center.