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Elephant in the room. A performance by Muhammad Ali (Mirchi) at the Karachi biennale 2017.

The stage, the walls and all the furniture was wrapped in wallpaper or cloth featuring two elephants fighting, their trunks entangled. It is about ‘peace and tranquillity’ is, when I asked him what these elephanst meant to him, how an official of the venue landed for me his interpretation. The artist probably, or a hired actor, was on the stage wrapped entirely in the same cloth as everything else and simply moved about a bit as perhaps and elephant standing at ease in a comfortable swamp might do. Indeed, it was peaceful. The artist-beast and spent some time on the couch waiting for two vans with guests to arrive, but the charming result of that delay was that his performance happened exactly as young pupils, both boys and girls were leaving class – there is a school on the upper floors of the same institution. With curiosity the children joined the front ranks of spectators and added to what I witnessed on this second day of the Karachi biennale 2017.

The performance ‘Elephant in the room’ by Muhammad Ali at Jamshed Memorial Hall during the Karachi biennale 2017. © Reserved.

Return to the Karachi biennale 2017 page on Greenbox Museum’s website.