Karachi Biennale: Open Call


Deadline:10th August, 2016

International call to visual artists, designers and architects to submit works for the Public Art project of the first Karachi Biennale in Pakistan. Works will be based on transformation of cable reels into objects engaging audiences in public space, either using single cable reel objects or multiples.

The cable reel is a ubiquitous symbol of the industry that has transformed Karachi – from a sleepy harbor town, to a manufacturing powerhouse. The miles of cables these reels hold are the tentacles that deliver power to a voraciously expanding city of 22 million. This Public Art project of the Karachi Biennale Trust will transform the reels into works of art and embed them in their natural habitat – the urban landscape.

Artists, designers and architects are invited to transform a 100 cable reels into objects that engage audiences in public spaces. The re-crafted reels will be created, and installed, in schools, public parks, hospitals, universities and other public places throughout the city. Each work is expected to engage the surrounding community with activities designed around the work, sensitize them to art, and the role it can play in enhancing their lived experience.

The genesis of using everyday used objects in art can be traced to the 1960s Italian movement of Art Provera. Today, it has re-emerged in ecologically conscious art practices. For Karachi, a city blighted by the waste that it produces, this has special significance. The [cable reel project] is a gesture to recycle our own waste, and transform it with a socially-conscious, critically-informed imagination.

One or more persons can collectively submit a proposal. The proposal can focus on a particular kind of public space i.e. park, historical building, hospital, school or university campuses, or any other public spaces with heavy pedestrian traffic. The proposed design should be relevant to the environment, the community, and other audiences.

Interested candidates can submit a proposal in one or both of the categories given below:

Category One:
Proposal based on transforming one cable reel into an art work. All works will be installed outdoors, so durability is important.

Category two:
Proposal based on a composite of two or more reels to create an interactive sculpture. The work will be installed in parks and schools, so durability is important.

Basic material support will be provided to artists for the selected proposals.

Selected applicants must be available between October 2016 and March 2017 as they will be required to complete their project on site during this period.
For more information please visit the – Website

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