In western anthropological studies, the German word ‘doppelgänger’ is commonly understood as ‘the double’, while in the world of mythology and folklore, the concept of the “double” is unquestionably related to the dark side, as it represents duality in its most perplexing and sinister aspect: the twin as a monstrous or metamorphic duplicate of its original. A more compelling idea related to the double involves the risk that the duplicate will overwhelm and consume the powers of the entity that it originates from. Leaving a lingering doubt about the figure’s reality, the doppelgänger does seem identical, but it is debatable whether or not the doppelgänger is a separate entity.
At the exhibition, Aasim Akhtar brought together several artists who intricately portrayed different possible outcomes of the phenomenon. The featured artists included Maria Khan, Naira Mushtaq, Amra Khan, Madiha Hyder, Sheraz Faisal, Inaam Zafar, Anas Ghauri, Sana Kazi, Alia Bilgrami, Scheherezade Junejo, Nadia Batool Hussain and Haider Ali Jan.
Whereas the majority of the artists had painted individuals to reflect their thoughts, Alia Bilgrami’s paintings were in the abstract. One of her paintings, titled ‘Consumed’, depicted a red tulip gradually being taken over by its black doppelgänger, while the ‘The Double Game’ was primarily a game where the viewer was challenged to find each tulip’s doppelgänger.
These artistic renditions of the “double” theme captivated a wide audience that consisted of art lovers from all around the city. “These are absolutely remarkable,” commented Khadijah, an art student, while admiring Sana Kazi’s ‘The Kingdom of God is within You’.
Aasim Akhtar, the curator, notes that “as a metamorphic twin, the double appears to embody the most powerful aspects of the strange conflictual bond that unites twins, making them firm but often unwilling partners in both life and death”.
Through this exhibition, Aasim managed to bring a unique idea to art enthusiasts from the capital, and the paintings on display are a visual treat for everyone. The exhibition will continue at the Khaas Art Gallery till 12th October 2015.
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