In November of 2017, the Lahore Biennale will open in Pakistan, “the largest contemporary art event” in that country’s history, according to a release. The Lahore Biennale Foundation announced today that Pakistani artist Rashid Rana will serve as artistic director.
Rana, in a statement, said he plans “a biennale that occupies an alternative space, between academia and contemporary art emerging from the region,” which will include a number of public art projects spread out around Lahore.
“The world currently has a very limited view of Lahore,” Rana continued. “The city is a complex urban space undergoing rapid, and sometimes unexpected, transformation. Being true to the spirit of the city of Lahore will make this a very different kind of biennale. Moreover, from a variety of perspectives, we hope to create a biennale ‘without walls’ in every sense of the word. It is my desire that the inaugural event generates ideas for a larger discourse within the art world while remaining relevant to audiences in the city. Lahore deserves a visual arts event with the ambition and scale of a biennale.”
Jessica Morgan, the director of the New York–based Dia Art Foundation, who served as an adviser to the event, said, “Rana’s role and ability to bridge the gap between Pakistan and the international art world will be of great importance for this first biennale which promises to bring much needed attention to the outstanding art and culture of Pakistan.”