A one night exhibition that explores the irreverence of artists to fascist political gatherings across interludes of history. Curated by Zasha Colah & Sumesh Sharma, Clark House Initiative Bombay.
Curators: Sumesh Sharma - Clark House Initiative Bombay
An exhibition explores the irreverence of artists to fascist political gatherings across interludes of history. Vivan Sundaram had sketched a few drawings after his visit to Auschwitz in 1988. These were drawn four years prior to the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, a temple city in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. After the riots that followed the demolition in 1992, many expressed their dissent, Vivan ceased to use painting as a medium. Tushar Joag has drawn a suite of drawings that chronicle with beauty the death of his city Bombay's metropolitan being after the riots of 1992. The riots effectively polarise the city into two communal halves, that only meet for the necessity for trade and infrastructure. Tushar's pain resonates in the work of Amol Patil who strikes a conversation with his avant garde playwright father, who had directed plays that narrated the story of urban migrants from the hinterland that surrounded Bombay to the city to work in its cotton mills. They came from communities that were once India' erstwhile untouchable castes, but who had seen a certain degree of emancipation by a social reform movement and subsequent conversion to Buddhism, by the architect of India's constitution Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. They were to be betrayed by metropolitan city that would refuse to shed the constrictions of caste despite the act of migration. Also to be betrayed by a provincial son of the soil movement that championed language rights in the city for the majority populace of the state, while being anti-migrant and populist.
The movement though shrewdly disbanded a well-coordinated labour movement in the city and failed to keep alive traditions of Marathi Theatre that had been kept alive in the mill districts as a form of entertainment and as a forum of re-addressal for the mill workers. Many such movements often associated theirs with Hitler's quest to regain a golden age for Germany and its leader often likened Hitler to a great artist. But Justin Ponmany appropriates the Swastika, a symbol found across various societies, by abstracting it as geometrical drawings on graph paper later putting it to a stop motion animation that constructs a visual origin bereft of the claims that it is endemic to any society. Rupali Patil illustrates a map drawn on a graph paper that shows the rivers of the central state of Chattisgarh. Bureaucrats in this resource rich state often divide its attributes of nature for private exploitation such as water, effectively erasing not only the economic and social lives but also the cultural lives of the various tribes that inhabit its forests encouraging their extinction.
Wars in the subcontinent and the scramble to control Kashmir are rumoured to be over its large reserves of water, similarly Sachin Bonde uses objects renegaded to archaeology and museum studies to comment on the oil politics that plague our geo-political neighbourhood and India through its constant inflation. Prabhakar Pachpute, creates sculptural installation of a sleeping man over demolished apartment blocks made from the debris of buildings through which he reflects on the nihilism of India’s youth and their aptitude to ignore a grave political and social issue that communal constituencies pose to the society. Nikhil Raunak draws the 1968 Black power salute during the Berlin Olympics where two Afro-American runners held their hands out in honour of Angela Davis. Krishna Reddy just after the Paris student protests of 1968, had moved to the town of Cararra to sculpt his drawings of the protests into large marble monuments in their memory working alongside retired anarchist marble miners. Reddy often reminisces that in post war Europe, India was often seen as a culture that had made pacifist protest the most apt weapon for a revolution.
Kemi Bassene, sets a photo in place of a man bathing on the streets of Paris, the image has a fictional narrative: it is the portrait of ‘Selba’ an immigrant West African Jew from Nigeria, who is trying to wash his colour away. Ironically the photo is set in the district of Le Marais where most of the Parisian galleries are located, and the man is someone who has just emerged out of a gallery after having white washed its walls. Kemi constructs a sculpture in the exhibition room. ‘The inevitable re-connection of the finished object to its aesthetic of process. Even the process in photography had moved from the dark room to digital applications, the sink of the acids is the best aesthetic to elevate the piece to show. As Josef Beuys linked all social sciences to determinate their relations to politic sciences, the necessity of relating piece of works to materials responds to our ecological unconscious creativity. The object like the immaterial is devoted to born again by adapting its essence to environment. Then the two intelligences of creating or re-creating will stand to the mercantile intelligence of consuming. Beuys inspires the way cultural objects fall in conflict they are used together. The dimension of extracting the useful recreates a new aesthetic.’’ – Bassene, says this as he explains that as an artist from Senegal, the first point for entry into art history for a people without a history of the modern, is Beuys. As one of the founders of the Afro-Futurist collective Afrikadaa, Kemi denies that the need for a quest for modernity as it only reflects a colonized mind; to be contemporary one must forget with satire, the deeds men did to other men.
Shibu Natesan is a painter, politics informs his practice as it often gives him a subject to paint, to be able to experiment with technique and the canvas, they often begin in water colours that then take a perspective in canvas. Most critics in India have not ever explored his deep and strong association with black consciousness and the movement in India. He is one of the foremost proponents of an association across borders, seas and continents that is defined adherence to a certain music, openness and rejection of the formalism of the West. He often portrays and draws himself around Bob Marley, but a canvas that is most apt to discuss the betrayal of Europe and the United States, and the hypocrisy of their commitment towards equal rights and freedom, is one that illustrates the escape and then subsequent death of Patrice Lumumba. Morning in the Heart, A painting for Patrice Lumumba, 2000 and Last Seen (Last Scene)-1 & 2 , are paintings of a subject – between September 1960 to January of 1961, when the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo was assassinated by the Belgians, CIA and the British for he had opposed their interests in the resource rich forests of the along the river Zaire. The Belgians apologized to the people of the Congo for their mistakes that led to his death, a fact the United States and Britain have never taken cognizance of.
Caecilia Tripp, had put into conversation John Cage's music to the roads of city of Bombay while capturing a cycle as it passes through the homes of the city's indigenous Koli community, she repeats this performance with a Puerto Rican Cycling Club in New York. The film to be premiered for the first time in her native Germany, stresses on the departures from the aesthetics prescribed by a scene that often is addressed to by the market, so as to find an association of significance based on the sheer pleasure of a sport or music.
Fascism cannot be attributed to any one country, religion, people or race. Political situations give rise to a certain acceptability of an acceptance of Fascist Politics where people rally around a singular leader who claims to be capable of a crusade against their poverty, troubles with corruption, etc by declaring certain minority as the reasons of a nations failure to the glory it befits and a golden age that was lost. The method of this exhibition has been irreverent to the formats and best practices of exhibiting; the images are printed on waste paper found outside a printing shop in Tuscany to give a materiality to the irreverence. It is irreverent to the Fascism, propelled by a right wing scouts movement and preached by a man guilty of a pogrom against Muslims in the state of Gujarat in 2003 and the mature and effective use of visual propaganda that is decisive and irresponsible.
1 - Singham is a too innocent DOG.
2 - an ANIMAL
3 - And Yes, this is just what you are thinking.
All the objects in this work are dismantled by SINGHAM, who is a dog (pet). A very innocent one, If you see, He don't even know the value of a currency, toys or even his own toy. In this triptych 1st and 3rd photo I've used sunboard, which for me the material itself act as fake white surface and the middle one is a base of a cake (wood), which I kept after my youngest cousin's birthday. The surface is used according to my perception of the objects.
"The state, I call it, where all are poison-drinkers, the good and the bad: the state, where all lose themselves, the good and the bad: the state, where the slow suicide of all — is called "life." ― Friedrich Nietzsche, ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’.
PLATFORM is an interdisciplinary venue for the production, presentation and mediation of contemporary art, design, and architecture. It encompasses 23 studios in which nearly 40 artists and designers work, an exhibition hall, a guest studio, and a satellite venue for exhibitions and events in the centre of Munich. Each year, several young cultural practitioners are hired to do a yearlong qualification program. Unlike the traditional model in the arts where young curators are hired as assistants, this qualification program offers the opportunity for young curators to realize their own curatorial projects throughout the year. Clark House was invited by this year’s curator Sasha Gora under this program to present a talk and exhibition.
PLATFORM is not supported by the Department of Culture, unlike other non-profit, city-funded spaces. Instead, it is an initiative of the Department of Labor and Economic Development of the State Capital of Bavaria. Therefore, its founding institution is more concerned with the employment of cultural practitioners than it is with culture as such.
PLATFORM has hosted immensely diverse projects dealing with everything from the state of art criticism to the occupy movement and from European urban peripheries to climate change. In the past, PLATFORM hosted lectures by Hou Hanru, Pooja Sood, Jennifer Allen and Lars Bang Larsen, amongst others.
Opens 19:00 hrs, 18th December 2013
20:00 hrs: Address by Tushar Joag on Artist run initiatives in India that have opposed communal politics and violence since the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya , December 1992. Discussion between Sumesh Sharma (Curator, Bombay), Prabhakar Pachpute (Artist, Bombay) and Kemi Bassene (Artist, Paris). Moderated by Saim Demircan (Curator, Kunstverein München).
Kistlerhofstr. 70 → Haus 60 → Tor 1 81379 München