WHAT: Dwellings Part II
WHERE: Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Sunny House, 16/18 Mereweather Road, Colaba
WHEN: March 30 to May 27, 11 am to 7 pm. Closed on Sundays and Mondays
CALL: 2202-3030; Entry is free
Dayanita Singh’s image, Time Measures, is nothing more than a book covered in red cloth. It could be a sacred book or a legal document in a red wrapping. Ranjit Hoskote who curates the second installment of the exhibition Dwellings says the image is an interesting way of thinking about living spaces. “How do you regard a fabric as a shell? In what ways does memory dwell in text that is then wrapped up and preserved as an archive?” he asks.
Dwellings is the tenth anniversary show of Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke. It broadly discusses the theme of habitation, community and belonging, through the works artists. Works include those of Abir Karmakar, Abul Hisham, Arun KS, Buddhadev Mukherjee, Dayanita Singh, Jyothi Basu, Kiki Smith, Manish Nai, Ratheesh T, Surabhi Saraf, Vidha Saumya and Vinod Balak.
“I am interested in exploring and knowing what kinds of things find occupancy in an artist’s imagination. What are the figures that make a home in your art, in your imagination, in your fears or hopes,” says Hoskote.
Abdul Hisham’s 13 miniature paintings invoke characters such as Phantom and Spectre. “These works for me are domains of dream and nightmare and journeying that the artist invokes,” says Hoskote. Abir Karmakar’s landscape raises questions about how one might own a landscape or how a landscape might own one.
It’s sort of fitting that Dwelling is showing in space-starved Mumbai. In Part I, the curator asked questions about the space of the citizen or a refugee or a migrant. “These things (the refugee crisis) don’t only happen in Syria or Germany,” says Hoskote. “They happen in Bombay all the time. It’s just that they are normalised here.”
Mumbai is a city of migrants, refugees, people escaping ecological crises, people displaced by projects, and people living with the tremendous crisis of social housing. “On one we have hand absurdly inflated real-estate prices and on the other an absence of social housing, Hoskote says. “An issue like dwelling has great saliency. It talks about our urgencies and crisis in a very precise way.”