B.C. Binning Gallery
The Capri Theatre of Karachi, Pakistan is the site and subject of Althea Thauberger’s video work, Pagal Pagal Pagal Pagal Filmy Duniya [Mad Mad Mad Mad Filmy World] (2017). Thauberger recognized a complex knot of histories, social relations and power dynamics in the Capri. Built in 1968, the theatre embodied Pakistan’s “golden age” of cinema, and through the late 1970s and 1980s, withstood religious and political shifts decrying the “deviance” of the movies. Today, with an accessible 200-rupee ticket price in the lower seats, the theatre remains open to almost anyone who desires to see a film. Thauberger’s methodology involves developing projects through a process of engagement with the communities of her chosen sites. For Pagal, she worked collaboratively and experimentally with a large group of participant-actors who shaped the film for themselves, imaginatively describing a world in the cinema, created by the unruly, heterogenous group of people that make up its audience. Pagal asks us to think differently about the complexity of space and invites us to consider the tenuousness of any community.
Curated by Kimberly Phillips, with assistance from Julia Lamare
This exhibition is presented in partnership with Capture Photography Festival, with additional support from Clark’s Audio Visual.
Pagal Pagal Pagal Pagal Filmy Duniya is coproduced by the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax; Musagetes, Guelph; and the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, with additional support from the Karachi Biennale, Shanitha Kachan and Gerald Sheff, Ann and Harry Malcolmson, Carol Weinbaum and Carlos Yep.
Through photography, film, video and performance, Althea Thauberger’s art practice is primarily concerned with the collaborative possibilities of the social documentary form. Her recent projects involve an extended engagement with the sites of their production in order to trace broader social and ideological histories. These sites include the Bohnice Psychiatric Hospital in Prague, Czech Republic; the former Rikard Benčić Factory in Rijeka, Croatia; the image holdings of the former National Film Board Still Image Division, now at the National Gallery of Canada; and the Capri Cinema in Saddar, Karachi, Pakistan. Her screenings and exhibitions include the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver (2019); National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2018); Polygon Gallery, Vancouver (2018); the inaugural Karachi Biennale (2017); the 2012 Liverpool Biennale; the 17th Biennale of Sydney; La musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2017); The Power Plant, Toronto (2012); Manifesta 7 (2008); The Berkeley Art Museum (2007); BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht (2007), among many others. Thauberger is represented by Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto.