Imposed, Interrupted and Other Identities: Rupture as Opportunity in the Art History of Pakistan
This chapter attempts to contextualize two significant moments of discontinuity in the art history of Pakistan which can also be read as moments of opportunity. The first rupture, centered on modernism, created a tension between artists and a society that could not access its seemingly alien esthetic. The second rupture was heralded by forces of religious extremism. These two moments of rupture shifted the axis of entrenched values in art and opened up opportunities of critical reflection through new frameworks. They became sites of negotiation around issues of identity, and altered the way art and society engaged in a dialogue of change in political and cultural crises. The debates provoked by art also created an awareness mechanism through a complicated and often repressive postcolonial landscape. The chapter attempts to situate these two ruptures in the context of art practices that narrate the impact of these ruptures.
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