Come, let's go on a hallucinogenic trip

  • Manjula Narayan, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Jan 31, 2015 13:10 IST

With every passing year, the India Art Fair -- now in its 7th year -- seems to get better. With 85 exhibiting galleries from across India and the world displaying painting, sculpture, new media, installation and performance art works, the NSIC grounds have been transformed into a vision from a hallucinogenic trip.

Here, studded cement mixers vie for your attention with hybrid creatures from a steampunk-consumerist dimension, disco visions of ancient myth, startling postcards from the future, a gleaming cascade of safety pins that recall the Uttarakhand floods of 2012, a toppled home in the grounds that references the Kashmir floods and sewing machines fashioned from shaving blades.

Untitled (Stainless steel discs with mixed media)

'Telegrams from the Future' by Mehreen Murtaza

'She' by Krishna Murari

'Serenity of Desolation' by Veer Munshi

'Recalling - I' (Stainless Steel Made Razor Blades) by Tayeba Begum Lipi

Visitors looking at Rahul Kumar's 'Circle Un-circled'

If Bangladeshi artist Tayeba Begum Lipi's sharp sewing machine makes you think of crowded sweatshops and of the 2013 garment factory collapse in Dhaka that killed 1,100 people, Krishna Murari's nude sculptures with their furry skins and bizarre heads -- a television screen that focuses on a smoking woman in one instance and the top of an old sewing machine in another -- points you toward a range of ideas including the commodification of women and the transformation of humans into beasts of burden in a world without leisure.

Shilpa Gupta's work always examines things that we are dimly aware of but rarely articulate and she does this once more with an exploration of the friendships of an earlier generation of Indian artists that archives their memories and brings out their connections.

The India Art Fair has many wonderful exhibits but, for this viewer at least, it is Bharti Kher's work that stands out. Last year, Kher had explored fluidity with a billowing scarf dipped in resin. This time, she astounds with her Mother and Child that explores the cannibalistic connection that a mother shares with her offspring, one that leaves her body scarred even as the child flourishes. It's a work reminiscent of some of the most visceral Louise Bourgeois sculptures. The India Art Fair is a mind-expanding experience.

Don't miss it.

Find Your Way Here
7th India Art Fair NSIC Exhibition Grounds, Okhla, Phase-3, Near Govindpuri Metro station
On till February 1
Tickets: General -- Rs 400, Students -- Rs 250

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