Rashid Rana’s work over the last two decades can be understood as a poetic investigation of the relationship between the microcosm and macrocosm. His work across video, site specific installation, digital collage, sculpture and most recently the architectural façade for the Pakistan Pavilion at the Dubai Expo reflects a profound understanding of the interconnectedness of the universal and the particular. Much of Rana’s extensive practice involves constructing numerous small components into mega compositions imbued with a potent and layered understanding of time, place, history and meaning. Rich in metaphor, this process has resonance with concepts of the collective, in which complexity is generated through the multiplicity of individual components.
The two works, ‘Off Shore Accounts’ and ‘Beauty Lies’, that comprise this exhibition are steeped in an exquisite layering of ideas that fuses contemporary global concerns with the specificities of western art history. More importantly, both works stimulate new understandings and interpretations of historical imagery whilst casting an historicised light on fundamental social issues. This is not to suggest that past and present form a tension in Rana’s work, but rather to point towards the subtle and provocative nature of their coexistence.