Venice, 3rd June 2011. Opening of the Bangladesh Pavilion.
The Bangladesh Pavillion at La Biennale di Venezia, is a morceau of cutting edge creativity from Bangladesh. Five talented artists whose respective fortes draw from their forbearers, but who are at the same time, engaged in building defining pathways from here to the beyond : Promotesh Das Pulak, Tayeba Begum Lipi, Mahbubur Rahman, Imran Hossain Piplu, Kabir Ahmed Masum Chisty, all celebrate their contemporary experience in “Parables” – principally because of the capacity of each of the artist to pack in experience and meaning – alluding, challenging and opening eyes; and hence parables. The angst, the yearning and an interesting capacity to blend the autobiographical with the collective provide a distinctive narrative of our times. Rahman Mahbubur’s “I was told to say these words” (2010-2011) is a provocative take on Islamic culture. In his installation, pigs clad in goat and cow skin stand in metal cages, while sounds of slaughter play in the background. Tayeba Begum Lipi addresses another aspect of her country’s culture: weddings. In “I wed Myself” (2010), a split-screen video installation, she interprets both the groom and the bride as they prepare for their wedding. In his “Echoed Moments in Time” (2011), Promotesh Das Pulak revisits archive videos and still images of the 1971 war of independence, a key moment in Bangladesh’s national narrative. Mr. Das Pulak, who was born years after the war ended, manipulated the images to place himself as the protagonist of each scene. Inspired by the mythological figure of Medusa, Kabir Ahmed Masum Chisty’s “Quandary” (2011), a drawing and video animation, shows snakes turning against the artist, who interprets Medusa. In “The Utopian Museum” (2011), Imran Hossain Piplu creates fossils from a fictional geological era—hybrids of weapons and animals.