Ordinary People tracks the tumultuous political culture of Karachi, Pakistan in rare moments of silence. It depicts 3 politicians seated quietly in their private homes with instructions to look into the camera. The uneasy gaze of the politicians is set against the political cycles of idealism and defeat that is manifest on the surface of the city in the form of faded posters, billboards, and monuments. For the artist, silence captures multiple meanings. It allows for time and space to resist dominant depictions of Karachi politics. It also provides a place of slippage where public and private, nature and artifice impact each other.
Asma Kazmi is a visual artist who creates transdisciplinary, relational works where people, media, and objects come together. She is the recipient of many awards including the Fulbright Research Award, (CIES) to India; the Faculty Research Grant, CalArts; the Great Rivers Biennial by the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; Rocket Grant, the Charlotte Street Foundation, and the Spencer Museum of Art at Kansas University; At the Edge: Innovative Art in Chicago Award, the University of Illinois in Chicago; and the Creative Stimulus Award, Critical Mass for the Visual Arts, St. Louis. She has exhibited at venues such as the Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, VA; Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City; Queens Museum of Art, NY; Worth Ryder Gallery, UC Berkeley; Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis; H&R Block Space, Kansas City; Grand Arts, Kansas City; University of Missouri, St. Louis; Hunt Gallery, Webster University, St Louis; Boots Contemporary Art Space, St Louis; The Guild Gallery, New York; Galerie Sans Titre, Brussels, Belgium; and Gallery 400, University of Illinois in Chicago.
Kazmi has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Kansas City Art Institute, and the University of California, Berkeley. Currently, she is a permanent faculty member at the California Institute of the Arts. She was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan.