Art and its diver-cities
As Sunil Khilnani writes in his book The Idea Of India: ‘India’s cities are hinges between its vast population spread across the countryside and the hectic tides of global economy, with its ruthlessly shifting tastes and its ceaseless murmur of the pleasures and hazards of modernity. This three-cornered relationship decisively moulds India’s future economic, cultural and political possibilities. The demographic drift across the world is unstoppably towards the urban. Modern India’s political and economic experiences have coincided most dramatically in its cities - symbols of the uneven, hectic and contradictory character of the nation’s modem life. From the ancient sacred space of Benares to the decaying colonial pomp of Calcutta, from the high rationalism of Chandigarh to the software utopia of Bangalore, from Bombay’s uneasy blend of parochial politics and cosmopolitan to the thrusting new cities of the north. The evident urban disjunctures have enlivened distinct political sentiments. The real and imagined experience of the city has individually and together reconstituted both the nature and the range of the selves, the ‘identities’ that Indians can call their own.’
Says Bhavna Kakar, curator of the show, ‘Is identity singular, multiple, dual or fused? Which intersections does it emphasize, which points of reference resonate? A globe called home, yet a search for imaginary homelands? A polyglot culture, where every being is in tumultuous transit between identities or composite identities…Art today becomes an exciting statement of the cultural diversity mapping diverse geographies. Homogeneity, which emerges as a by-product of globalization, leads to the growing importance of nudging the cultural producer to look for the celebration of difference. The city, now occupies the mind of the artists in various arresting poses. This show celebrates this diversity of creative processes.’
Diver-cities is a group show by various artists including Arun Kumar HG, Avantika Bawa, Baiju Parthan, Gigi Scaria, Manjunath Kamath, Roshan Chhabria, Prajakta Palav, Sarnath Banerjee and Sudipta Das.
Arunkumar’s use of readymade objects such as toys, plastic, ceramics, cow dung, hay and TV monitors gives us a glimpse of his susceptibility towards the neo-pop movement. Avantika Bawa’s current site-specific installation is called Right of Aurobindo and Left of Aurobindo drawing inspiration from cartography of the vicinity of the site of installation, Lado Sarai. Baiju Parthan, a painter, born in 1956 in Kerala, India is known as a pioneer of intermedia art in India. As a visual artist, Manjunath Kamath feels impelled to regularly reinvent his method of storytelling. Prajakta Palav explores her life and experiences in the ever-expanding mega-city of Mumbai through her art works. Just the thing for art-lovers.
WHERE: 28, F-208, Lado Sarai
WHEN: 27 August to 25 September (11 am - 7 pm, Sunday closed)