About 1 x 1

A collaborative event in intent, 1 x 1 was born from the desire to cross-pollinate between galleries and curators nationally, which in itself, is a rare occurrence.
This exhibition includes artists of all practices, ages and skills. The idea behind 1 x 1 was to bring together a vast array of art practices and bind them to a specific size and surface. Each artist was presented with the challenge of either having to scale down their work, or having to add even more detail in their given area, to meet the size requirement while not compromising the quality, concept and impact of their work. And each of them delivered. Their collective practices investigate a vast range of issues such as: body image, identity, climate change, culture, gender norms, family, history, urban decadence, traditions, spaces, feminism, memory, violence, consumerism and the human condition. Their body of work is a map of our current socio-cultural landscape. They wander, touch upon and draw their own conclusions, each reflective of their own unique experience of the world. 1 x 1 promotes the softer side of our country and is a great tool for cultural diplomacy and communicating with the world at large.
Collectively curating this narrative across Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad/Dubai weaves three aspects of one spectrum together. However, due to Covid-19, the Islamabad show scheduled for March at the Embassy of France, Islamabad is now being hosted by Antidote online.





Q&A

Q.

Tell us about your background and when did you develop an interest in art and decided to become a curator?

A.

Curator Zara Sajid: My interest in art dates back to my childhood which lead me to take art in my O & A Levels and eventually a Bachelors in Design at the National College of Arts, Lahore. After graduating in 2013, I followed my instinct towards art curation after I exhibited my mixed-media works at a gallery in Lahore. Art curation is storytelling through visuals. It is a powerful means of communication to the world at large and I discovered my passion for curating through binding these narratives. I was deeply interested in contemporary art from Pakistan and have been fortunate to have curated works of over two hundred Pakistani artists. To date, I have curated sixty five exhibitions in all the major cities of Pakistan, London, Dubai and India.

Q.

What is interesting for you in the partnership with Antidote?

A.

Zara Sajid: With my experience within Pakistan as well as in Paris and other European art hubs, I have gained a great insight into the global art market and I am thrilled to curate artworks by Pakistani contemporary artists on the Antidote online platform that caters to art collectors across the world. We’ve had a tumultuous last few months with the covid outbreak and as things return to normalcy, it is extremely important to support and highlight the art and culture sector.

Q.

What do you plan to do with this collaboration?

A.

Zara Sajid: Last year, I started the year with curating 1 X 1 and about 5 exhibitions at the World Bank, Islamabad. I moved to Paris shortly after that for my MBA in Art & Luxury Management course at IESA Arts & Culture where I gained an insight into the global contemporary art and luxury sectors and applied my newly learnt skills to my existing curatorial practice. With this collaboration, I plan to share new groundbreaking projects that are a result of my growth and evolution as a curator and specialist in the contemporary art sector. Its about breaking boundaries and placing Pakistani contemporary art on the world map like never before!

Q.

What’s you place for art inspiration?

A.

Zara Sajid: I love visiting museums, art galleries and artists studios. I feel alive and invigorated when I am surrounded by art irrespective of its origin or history. I am also a strong believer in the fact that we’re always surrounded by inspiration. Sometimes it is about slowing down and noticing the beauty that surrounds you in every moment.

Q.

You yourself are a collector, what things do you consider while curating your personal space as opposed to an exhibition?

A.

Zara Sajid: My personal space is more of an amalgamation of all that Pakistani contemporary art has to offer whereas while curating an exhibition I must follow a certain theme or concept. I make sure that the works don’t remain static in my personal space and keep changing them around every few months or years according to my mood. This shuffle always changes the energy and brings fourth a new context for the art to be viewed in according to its surroundings.

Q.

Who are your all-time favorite artists?

A.

Zara Sajid: Although its hard to mention all of them, some of my favorite Pakistani artists are Zahoor ul Ikhlaq, Collin David, Bashir Mirza, Iqbal Hussain, Anwar Jalal Shemza, Imran Qureshi, Rashid Rana, Faiza Butt, RM Naeem, Irfan Hassan, Adeel uz Zafar, Scheherezade Junejo, Annem Zaidi, Ali Azmat and the list goes on. I will share a detailed list soon in one of my posts.

SHOP ARTWORKS

About the collaboration

Zara Sajid is a specialist in the contemporary art sector with over seven years of experience in art curation and consultancy. She is currently an MBA candidate in the Art & Luxury program run by IESA ARTS & CULTURE, Paris where she has gained tremendous insight into the interconnections between the luxury market and the contemporary art sector. Currently, she is interning at the Régis Mathieu Gallery in Paris and with SM Art Advisory that is based out of Brussels and New York where she is working on luxury brand collaborations with artists.
In Pakistan, Zara has been working as a Consultant for the World Bank Group on their art program among other curatorial projects.