Everything Is Happening At Once
Everything Is Happening At Once, curated by Alnoor Mitha and Sarah Perks, was presented at Cornerhouse, Manchester as part of ATM11. The exhibition has been developed with the support of Lisson Gallery.
Everything Is Happening At Once is the first major UK public solo show from Rashid Rana, widely considered to be the most prominent and original contemporary artist working in South Asia today. The exhibition includes new and recent work that cuts across conventional notions of the scale and status of the photographic object, opening up its potential to represent cultural, social and physical realities. The works in this exhibition, spanning the last six years, blur the divide between two and three-dimensional forms to challenge the viewer's understanding of the world in which they live, on both a macro and micro-scale. Photo sculptures and large-scale photo mosaics subvert perception of size and structure and urge us to look deeper into the relationship between the fragment and the bigger picture. 'We live in a world of images – I decided to become an editor of these.'
Rashid Rana's digital photo mosaic prints combine the artist's own photography with imagery borrowed from pop culture and the world around us. Comprising thousands of individual pictures, which are re-cast as pixels within a single image, the works encapsulate the artist's desire to document paradoxes and contradictions. Upon closer inspection by the viewer, it is revealed that the carefully selected micro-content of the pixels offsets the perceived serenity of the larger image. An often unsettling dialogue is created through the dual reading of the work, and the viewer is forced to consider the relationship between the two perspectives.
Contemporary Pakistan and South Asia's struggle between tradition and modernity are key routes of enquiry in Rashid Rana's practice. Having also lived in Canada, Rana now continues to live and work in Lahore Pakistan, the city he was born in, and cites his experience of 'living the city everyday', as the fundamental driving force behind his work. Exploring notions of identity, gender, politics, environment and the role of the media; the polarity and extremes he experiences resonate and have meaning for both local and global audiences.