COMO Museum of Art in Lahore, Pakistan is the country’s first ever private museum; it centres around the exhibition and promotion of contemporary and modern art. Their latest solo art exhibition by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto under the title ‘Tomorrow We Inherit the Earth: A Study in Textile’ has been showing from the 28th of February, 2023, and will continue till the month of June.
Born on 1st August 1990 in Damascus, Zulfikar is complex and delightful, funny and subversive, and through his art shatters many clichés about who we are and who we are permitted to be. He obtained his MAH in History of Art from the University of Edinburgh in 2014 as well as an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2016. As dynamic and versatile as he is, Zulfikar does not restrict himself to one artform; he employs performances, videos, printmaking, textile, embroidery, quilting and storytelling to bring life to his art.
He shares the same name as his grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, former Prime Minister and President of Pakistan. So, it comes as no surprise that he is intererested
in the politics of the world and inculcates this in his art; his work examines the intricate identity politics created through centuries of colonisation and made worse by the current global politics. He investigates the politics of queerness in his performances, as well as how it sits with Islam and the transitional relationship they share. Zulfikar performs drag under the moniker Faluda Islam and addresses sensitive topics of sexuality, religion, and identity.
Zufilkar is a selfless artist who through his initiatives tries to give a voice to the queer community and give them representation; he was one of three curatorial residencies for the year at SOMArts Cultural Center, where he co-curated the exhibition The Third Muslim: Queer and Trans Muslim Narratives of Resistance and Resilience in January and February 2018. During the month-long series of events, The Third Muslim brought together 16 gay and trans-Muslim artists, performers, and intellectuals.
As per his website, Zulfikar’s latest exhibition ‘Tomorrow We Inherit the Earth: A Study in Textile’ is “an investigation into histories of popular resistance, guerrilla warfare and anti-imperialism in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia that are then re-interpreted into an archive of an imagined revolution in a post-utopian and post-human world.”
The series is created through a three-part process, utilising live performances, videos, and installations made of textiles. Drawing on Shiite Muslim martyrdom and saint worship customs, the tapestries were created “to honour real and imagined queer guerrilla fighters and the weapons they used.”
Zulfikar is unapologetic in his lifestyle and art; which makes his whole being as well as his work even more so genuine and beautiful. So, make sure to pay a visit to the COMO Museum of Art. Better yet, the exhibition is free to everyone so head on over to the museum for an immersive experience with Zulfikar’s work; it will definitely be worth your time.
Tuesday- Sunday (12PM- 6PM) 12-6pm