Tentative Collective
Core member from 2013–2015


The Tentative Collective was a gathering of artists, curators, teachers, architects and often, collaborators from completely different backgrounds including fishermen, housewives and domestic workers. While we work site specifically in response to the city, we are interested in engaging with its peculiar co-opting of global modernity in the rapidly transforming landscapes of the global south; in particular, the precarious urban geographies of the city and the voids it opens for groups like ours to inhabit. Navigating through these precarious urban geographies, we hope to create poetic and ephemeral moments in conversation with the city’s infrastructures, while making connections to its complex ecological and geological histories.


Drawing on these everyday practices, artists, curators and creative practitioners enacted their own ephemeral projections in the city. These projections took the form of luminous moving imagery, urban transference, performance of desires, evocation of memories, and playful engagements with architectural forms, spatial configurations and experiential modes. Through these projections we read, inscribe, understand and imagine ourselves, our communities, our histories and futures into the city’s surfaces and crevices. The city transforms under the gaze of its inhabitants—the fixed materialities of its architecture rendered elastic.

Participating artists included Bani Abidi, Shaheen Jaffrani, Shahana Rajani, Zahra Malkani, Yaminay Nasir Chaudhri, Fazal Rizvi, Zambeel Dramatic Readings, Mehreen Murtaza andNaiza Khan.

The project was supported by Vasl Artists Collective.

Gandhi Engine Commission

The Gandi Engine Commission was an experimental, site-specific workshop that navigated through the Ravi river to explore themes of development and destruction, waste and toxicity. It activated the river as a site of storytelling – excavating stories of multiple wreckages and ruinations from colonial histories to the neo-colonial present.

The project looked at the river as a recipient and vessel of the copious and continuous sewage of the city. While numerous commissions have been installed to reverse the death/destruction of the Ravi, ours was an exercise in moving through space and time, to pause, reflect and re-examine our relationship as urban dwellers to the landscape and ecology we inhabit, what it means to live and work with the waste, residue and detritus of the city.

The workshop was completed with a public art installation at Shah Deen Park, where a dysfunctional water sanitation plant pumps toxic sewage into the river across the street from a metal workshop processing scrap metal from Gadani, Balochistan’s shipbreaking yard, before selling it to the steel and metal industries of Punjab. The installation consisted of four video projections across these two sites, highlighting the larger geopolitical intersections taking place in the space, rendering these sites into monuments of capitalism.

The Gandi Engine Commission was created by the Tentative Collective for “Ancestors: Architecture of Memory”, a program held in Lahore with the Lahore Biennale Foundation from the 19 – 20th of September, 2015.