MIRROR
22/07/22–14/09/22

YOUR TONGUE IN MY MOUTH

Huma Mulji

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Huma Mulji, 'Gandhi Garden' (2022). Courtesy of the artist.

Huma Mulji's new solo exhibition opens at MIRROR this July. Join us for the opening event on Thursday 21 July from 5-7pm.

Immediately after independence in August 1947, the government of Pakistan began the long process that would, over the next few decades, modify street names, discard memorials, reshape cultural markers, revise school textbooks, weekends, architecture, law and language. To heal the deep wounds of partition, and in a hurry to distance itself from anything unIslamic, centuries of syncretic cultural and religious rituals were slowly stripped away, eroded and transformed in collective memory.

Growing up in Karachi, Mulji navigated her way between the disembodied heads and limbs of discarded statues, in the back corridors of Mohatta Palace, then the abandoned home of Fatima Jinnah. In an article in The Herald magazine from 1994, she came across a vivid description of a pedestal outside the Karachi Municipal Corporation Headquarters. This year, the artist journeyed back to Karachi to find this plinth. In the process, stumbling upon other fragments of the memorial. The body of resulting work presented here centres on collective memory, time, place and belonging; complicating accepted historical linearity, placing two worlds in parallel entanglement, taking the viewer to glimpse geographies other than their own and to re-read illegible stories.

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Huma Mulji, 'Red Carpet' (2022). Courtesy of the artist.

Huma Mulji is based in Bristol with a studio at Spike Island. Alongside her practice she teaches BA (Hons) Fine Art, at UWE Bristol, and previously at Arts University Plymouth. She is represented by Project88, Mumbai.

Her work centres on observing the everyday within urban geographies, particularly across South Asia. She is interested in telling the story of a nebulous combination of the dysfunctional, the heroic, the sorrowful and the resilient. Mulji works across media, with a focus on sculpture, installation and photography.

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Huma Mulji is one of two artists selected for The South West Showcase 2022. SWS is a recurring open call platform (est. 2013), showcasing artists from across the South West region. The showcase aims to support artists working and living in the South West through a year-long programme of mentoring and support with an exhibition outcome; presenting a long-term commitment to profiling and supporting the practises of artists in this region.

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Huma Mulji, Postcards, 2022, installation shot. Photo: Dom Moore.
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Huma Mulji, Private View 2022. Photo: Dom Moore.
Gandhi Garden 2022
Huma Mulji, Gandhi Garden, 2022. Photo: Dom Moore
Your Tongue In My Mouth
Huma Mulji, Your Tongue In My Mouth, 2022. Installation Shot. Photo: Dom Moore.

Foreground Projects commission new artworks for new audiences.

In the Eye of the Storm is the fourth essay released in Foreground’s File Notes series, an occasional series of commissioned writing that will critically engage with different areas of Foreground’s programme.

The new essay explores Your Tongue in My Mouth, an exhibition by Huma Mulji at MIRROR, that explores collective memory, time, place and belonging. Immediately after independence in August 1947, the government of Pakistan began the long process that would, over the next few decades, modify street names, discard memorials, reshape cultural markers, revise school textbooks, weekends, architecture, law and language.

Written by artist and theatre practitioner Asma Mundrawala, In the Eye of the Storm begins with a quote by Pakistani novelist Asad Muhammad Khan, in which he speaks of the time he and his contemporaries spent in ‘60s Karachi as being ‘in the centre of the storm, that distinctly silent circle, where we did not live, but rather, frequented.’ Mundrawala goes on to skillfully carry the reader through ideas at the core of Mulji’s Your Tongue in My Mouth while reflecting on how Karachi’s colonial past transformed its inhabitants’ relationship to language, collective storytelling and the physical space of the urban landscape.