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Salma, Sitara, and
Sister–Motor Cycle Workshop
Originally produced: 2002;
reproduced for the CP Biennale 2005: 2004-2005
Multiple pieces, dimensions vary
Mix media: helmets, footrests, film

Adeela Suleman

Adeela Suleman studied at Fine Arts Department, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi, Pakistan (1996 – 1999). She has been teaching at the Department of Sculpture and coordinating the Fine Arts Department at the Department of Visual Studies, University of Karachi, since 2001. She took part in several group exhibitions including “Beyond Borders” at the National Gallery of Modern Art Bombay, India (2005); “Spielen mit geladenen Gewehr” (Playing with the Loaded Gun), Kunsthalle Fridericianum Kassel, Germany (2004); “24 Frames per Second”, Kara Film Fest, Karachi, Pakistan (2003); “43rd Premio Suzzara,” Associazione Galleria Del Premio Suzzara, Italy (2003), “Playing with the Loaded Gun,” Apex Art, New York, U.S.A (2003) “Imagined Workshop” at the 2nd Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale, Fukuoka, Japan (2002); and “The Thakhti Show” at Freer Hall, Karachi, Pakistan (2001).

My motorcycle project—Salma, Sitara, and Sister – Motor Cycle Workshop—deals with the issues of nationality, class, and gender. What I have looked at in this project is the experiential dimension of traveling on a motorcycle. This every day activity takes place in a unique way in Pakistan. Women sit on the motorcycle's saddle (side ways), with the husband driving the motorcycle. They then help each other to balance themselves and their children, who may be more than two, on this small product of modernity called motorcycle.

This live theatre of motorcycle provides an insight into the gender relations (the way the women sit on the motor cycle), class relations (motor cycle are predominantly used by the lower classes and the lower middle classes), and the uniqueness of the Pakistani context.

Helmets and footrest, in this project are made out of kitchen utensils and everyday mundane utility items. The film captures the scenario of traveling on the motorcycle and the way women work in the house doing daily chores, the same repetitive activity again and again. (Artist's Statement)

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