Sobia Zaidi (Lahore, Pakistan): The Naughty Chair

  • watch: 31st March 2020 at 1pm UTC
  • duration: 20 min

We manifested isolation together and it has now become a shared experience for all of us. Weactively contributed to bring this to life. Living in this social isolation feels like being on an island among many different islands. And in that separate island I have another island where I am present,in my chair where I have spent most part of 5 days since I have been self quarantined. This presence I would say is consensual. But what can you do when you have no choice but to confine yourself in a space while create boundaries and restrictions for yourself but also explore the possibilities of that very limited space. I re-examine life, redefine things, attribute new meanings, restructure fictional routines and encounters with other human beings, reminiscent and daydream in this chair. The paradox is that the chair becomes a punishment but also your comfort zone, most familiar to you where you fee safe.The performance actually looks at the idea of social distancing and also explore the horrors aswell as poetics of living in solitary confinement. I will start by sitting in that chair very close to the camera and then gradually move away from it still sitting in that chair and I will read a text piece on human connection articulating the sense of touch.

BIO: Sobia Zaidi is a performance artist her practice is concerned with finding and curating the mundane and ordinary as extraordinary. Sobia has always been fascinated by the body both as an object in space and as a subject. The inspiration for her performances comes from the daily life interactions which she re-enacts in the most unexpected sites and contexts. For her the awareness of the body is the beginning of all the politics and it’s interaction with space is where the performance starts for her. She playfully explores the poetics of anonymity and secrecy in her practice which is why her work is mostly subtle and deliberately unnoticeable. Text is a major part of her practice. She uses text to record the memory of the work and also creates manuals for performances that contain instructions to create performances. She is currently trying to understand, define and redefine the word Performance. She received her Masters in Performance Art and artistic research from Utrecht School of the Arts, Netherlands and is presently teaching at Forman Christian College, Lahore. ARTIST’S WEBSITE