SHARJAH BIENNIAL 14 : MAKING NEW TIME- MUNEM WASIF

Munem Wasif
Sharjah Biennial 14 :
Leaving the Echo Chamber- Making New Time
Curated by Omar Kholeif
7 March – 10 June, 2019

Munem Wasif, Machine Matter (video still), 2017, Video, black and white photography, multimedia installation; 14 minutes 5 seconds.

Munem Wasif, Machine Matter (video still), 2017, Video, black and white photography, multimedia installation; 14 minutes 5 seconds.

Primarily photography, video and sound, Munem Wasif’s works emerge from long-term engagement with places and their histories, particularly within the context of his home country of Bangladesh. Over time, his seemingly straightforward documentary approach gives way to a deeper understanding of sites, economies and cultures that exists just below the surface.

In Machine Matter (2017), Wasif examines the death of the jute industry in Bangladesh and the destruction of the livelihoods the ‘golden fibre’ once supported. Until the mid-twentieth century, the jute industry was strong in the Indian subcontinent as jute twine was employed to package the world’s cotton, grains, coffee, sugar and cement. However, with the shift of power from East Bengal to Pakistan after the partition in 1947, the jute industry began to generate most of the income for the new state, diverting profits away from small stakeholders in East Bengal and leaving factories without work. In addition, jute production was reduced overall by the widespread use of artificial materials and the rise of shipping containers and cargo ships.

Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber-Making New Time

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The daughter product of Galerie 88, Kolkata, Project 88 was started by Sree Goswami. The 4000 square feet gallery is housed in a century old metal printing press. The gallery supports emerging and established artists in long-term relationships to facilitate understanding and awareness of their continually evolving practices within India and internationally.
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