The Musée Guimet presents the first ever exhibition of Rashid Rana in Paris. Born in Lahore in 1968, he is known to be Pakistan’s leading contemporary visual artist thanks to his photography and digital imagery, and also works in sculpture and video. Over twenty puzzling works are integrated amongst the museum’s permanent collection.
Past and present
The exhibition allows the confrontation of contemporary art with age-old Asian artworks, questioning tradition and its "illusions of permanence”. This audacious display marks the Musée Guimet’s first steps towards exhibiting contemporary art. Mr Jacques Giès, President of the Musee Guimet, explains: “The Musée Guimet is much more than a warehouse for treasures. Given the growing importance of Asia in our globalized world nowadays, it is time to reconsider our museum presentation.” Having originally studied as a painter, Rashid Rana has reached public recognition in Pakistan and abroad, in numerous countries in the Middle-East and in Europe.
Each image carries its contradiction
Rashid Rana, Sites, 60.96 cm x 91.44 cm / 24 x 36 inches, 2009, edition of 5
For about ten years, Rashid Rana has been exploring new media, and especially digital imagery. His approach to photography is the same as that of making a painting: the constructing of a final image from the conglomeration of many smaller details (that function as would pixels in a digital image). The finished works carry a tension that is born from the clash between the view of the whole and that of its accumulated parts, and yet by juxtaposing the ‘seen’ and the ‘unseen’ in this way, Rana’s work underlines the antagonisms between cultures and points a finger at those that create the ‘rules’ that become the traditions of tomorrow. “In these uncertain times we have lost the privilege of having a vision of the world without questioning. Today, each image, each idea, each reality carries at the same time its contradiction”, explains Rashid Rana.
An enriching dialog
This exhibition Perpétuel Paradoxe is part of the Musée Guimet’s current events dedicated to Pakistan. Indeed, with the exhibition Pakistan – Terre de rencontre-(Ier-VIème siècles) les arts du Gandhara, the Musée Guimet gives a unique occasion to discover – until the 16th of August, 2010 – the Greco-Buddhist art of the Gandhara through 200 artworks blending classical Greek style and Indian art. This two exhibitions combined around Pakistan enable an enriching dialog between ancient heritage and contemporary creation.
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