Pakistani visual artist and curator, who inked his name as a pioneer of metal sculptures, Amin Gulgee organised an informal discussion with the title JAGHA HAI? that asked “Is There Space for Performance Art in Pakistan?”
The discussion was interlinked with the event of the same name (JAGHA HAI? ) that took place on November 4th 2022. Amin Gulgee organised 52 simultaneous performances occurring all over his gallery from the driveway to the roof. Hence it became the largest performance art show curated by Sara Pagganwala, Adam Fahy-Majeed and Amin himself.
The informal discussion was attended by Sheema Kermani, Babar Sheikh, Lujane Vaqar Pagganwala, Claudia Alexandra Arnold, Talal Faisal Ismaili, Umaina Khan, Yumna Ali, Sanki, Danish Raza, Sophia Layla, Pomme Gohar, Adam Fahy Majeed, Sara Pagganwala, Bilal Ghouri, and Hormuz Irani.
The discussion brought forward that performance art is a relatively recent phenomenon in the space of Pakistan and because of its newness and its impermanence, it becomes an ideal mechanism to challenge existing societal norms.
The participants highlighted that performing arts also fall under the safety blanket of “performance,” in which what is expressed is just a “drama,” and thus not real and not to be taken seriously. This allows the artists to slide under the “doors” and occupy whatever space they choose. The performance takes a lot of courage and madness for artists to use their own bodies as canvases.
It was concluded that the act of performance is a transcendental, out-of-body experience as if the space of body & mind is taken over by unknown spirits. Amin Gulgee, the recipient of Pride of Performance, carried the notion and said that after one of their performing arts works, he cannot remember clearly what truly happened and it always seems as if he had been in an oneiric dimension.