Manchester Art Gallery

Mehreen Murtaza

Mehreen Murtaza creates scenarios in which confused narratives blur the line between fact and fiction and remind us of the precarious and subjective nature of shared histories.

Manchester Art Gallery
Saturday 30 September 2017–Sunday 4 February 2018

Mehreen Murtaza has filled Manchester Art Gallery’s ground floor gallery with living plants for a new work exploring plant communication and consciousness. Through in-depth research, Murtaza has developed a unique narrative and sound installation which blurs the boundaries between plant neurobiology, science fiction, philosophy and spirituality to create a space that is neither fiction nor non-fiction.

Performance Lecture, with Paddy Steer

Imtiaz Dharker: The garden gnomes are on their mobile phones

As part of Manchester Literature Festival 2017, poet, artist and documentary filmmaker Imtiaz Dharker responded to solo exhibitions from South Asian artists Neha Choski, Risham Syed, Mehreen Murtaza, Waqas Khan and Hetain Patel. Here’s her poem, The garden gnomes are on their mobile phones.


Find out more about the South Asia art and culture programme 2017-18

Mehreen Murtaza explores the intersecting worlds of technology and nature, science and religion. With imagery derived from sources such as Sufi culture and science fiction, working in video, text, animation, sound and installation, she creates scenarios in which confounding narratives blur the line between fact and fiction and remind us of the precarious and subjective nature of shared histories. Recent work includes Transmission from a Missing Satellite, which explores the fragmented narrative of Nobel Prize winner Dr Abdus Salam and Deep Sky Object, a mysterious metal object that seems to have fallen from space. At Manchester Art Gallery she will present a new artwork continuing her interest in plant behaviour, communication and consciousness. Murtaza lives and works in Lahore and is represented by Grey Noise, Dubai and Experimenter, Kolkata. She has exhibited internationally including the 3rd and 5th Moscow International Biennale, 55th Venice Biennale and Kunsthalle Gwangju, 3rd Gwangju Biennale, Korea. She is also the co-creator of the Mantiq of the Mantis project in Lahore.

Mehreen Murtaza how will you conduct yourself in the company of trees 2015
Courtesy the artist

Supported by

Charles Wallace Pakistan Trust

Exhibition paint kindly supplied by Farrow&Ball

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