Asif Khan’s Re-View: Clove’s editorial assistant co-curates exhibition in Lahore

Drone footage of the outskirts of the city offers a contrast between agricultural land and recent sites of construction

Co-curated by Clove's editorial assistant Olivia Burt and Nadhra Shahbaz Khan, professor of Art History at Lahore University of Management Sciences University (LUMS), Re-View is the third exhibition hosted by the LUMS Gurmani Centre of Languages and Literature, following two photography exhibitions featuring Arif Mahmood and then Nad e Ali. While the event is open to all, the initiative, led by author and co-director of the centre Bilal Tanweer, brings LUMS students into contact with art and artists from Pakistan, and encourages them to critically engage with it.

This year, Re-View features Lahore-based moving image artist, Asif Khan. Khan has several exhibitions to his credit, including one solo exhibition, Sequel (2016) at Rohtas II in Lahore and several group shows. The latest among these was Sleepless Constellation (2017) curated by modern artist Salima Hashmi at Alserkal Avenue, a thriving art hub in Dubai.

Asif Khan,  Untitled  (2018). Ashiana Housing Scheme Scroll. Photography: Faizan Ahmad.

Asif Khan, Untitled (2018). Ashiana Housing Scheme Scroll. Photography: Faizan Ahmad.

Khan has been commuting through this part of Lahore for over a decade, observing various housing sectors replace farmland. Through Khan's films, we witness geographical change on scale too large for the naked human eye. The films disorient us with their aerial perspective, as they record labourers paving the road or an excavator carving out land. While reality becomes abstract with no sound or minute details, it is impossible not to register the evolving landscape in the name of ‘progress’.

Re-View also features a panoramic scroll of the Ashiana Housing Scheme for lower-incoming housing, which is currently vacant due to corruption allegations. The inclusion of this image brings the viewer back down to the ground-level, reminding us that the scenes in these films have very real implications.