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First Discussion Question

Quddus Mirza, a Pakistani artist and critic in Lahore, writes in the exhibition catalogue that artists in Pakistan have become “exiles at home,” whose work is “slowly drifting away from the local art scene.” He continues, “the more it is uprooted from its native soil, the more accolades it receives in the mainstream art world.”

Exhibition curator Salima Hashmi presents another view in a New York Times interview: “The contemporary artist symbolizes a strong hope for Pakistan,” she argues. “Those who gain a foothold in the international art discourse serve as a conduit, inviting a chance to dialogue with those inside — a conversation that may startle, beguile, enlighten and hopefully enrich.”

With whom do you agree? Is it possible for artists to stay true to their own background while working internationally?


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