Archaeologies of Tomorrow

Sohail Zuberi engages in the quiet survey of a two-kilometer stretch of beach in Karachi – just off the popular and often populated strip known as the Clifton beach – ‘unearthing’ modern-day ‘archaeological relics’ through acts of chance and encounter, exploration and excavation. Meticulously recorded, documented, and collected, this investigation finds at its heart the idea of walking as a primary means of discovery and engagement, bringing to mind Rousseau in his 1783 essay Reveries of the Solitary Walker, where he speaks of the processes that have resulted in man’s estrangement from his ‘natural’ (physical) self, as well as from other human and non-human beings. Zuberi’s extensive body of work then is conducted as field research, bringing to the fore ideas of ecology and economy, contradiction and coexistence, in which found objects become like a mirror to the city – evidence washed up by the sea – a testament to man’s relationship with his natural and urban environments, and of the complexity of his socio-cultural beliefs and practices.