Graveyards in Pakistan are frequently seen as spaces solely for the dead, and are not often visited beyond funerals and burials. However, Mahbub Jokhio suggests they should be places where both the living and the dead can co-exist. His work presents images of everyday mundane acts with different characters in graveyards; proposing that these are places where life can not only happen, but is perhaps brighter in contrast to their surroundings. Through photography and film, In The City of Lost Times considers notions of longing, love, grief and memory; the inseparability of life from death and representations of identity.
Mahbub Jokhio has recently completed a residency at Gasworks, London. He is interested in the nature of images; in their claims to objectivity and their ability to manipulate meaning and perception. He says that “when there is no objective reality, images might lie more truthfully”. For Jokhio, an image is like a complex sentence; full of signs, symbols and indexes that could either reveal, conceal or manipulate its content and context. Working in various mediums his investigations often incorporate irony and dark humour and self-referential critiques that locate and decode the image’s capacity to mediate reality.
Mahbub Jokhio’s exhibition is a co-commission with the Karachi Biennale, and is a part of the New North and South; a three-year programme of activity across eleven arts organisations from the North of England and South Asia.