The brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old girl that left the whole country shocked and shaken has led gallery and auction house, Art Bull, to host an exhibition that debates the issue of sexual atrocities committed against women. Titled RAPE, Rare Acts of Political Engagement, the show is curated and conceptualised by Johny ML and has works of 24 women artists on display. “Amid all the debates and outcry, I felt there was no contribution from the art fraternity towards this issue. So, we got together to organise an exhibition that discusses the issue of rape and gender parity.”
The show that opened in the Capital on April 10 has works across mediums such as acrylic, oil, mix media, video installation, site specific installation and photography. Interestingly, the works do not directly deal with one particular incident of rape but are rather appealing visual responses to domestic violence, sexual harassment, dominance at private and public domains and more. “I didn’t want my artists to literally translate this incident but look at the whole idea of re-awakening of the conscience at the face of a crisis like this,” says Johny.
Out of the many works, artist Kanika Sharma’s work instantly catches one’s attention. Titled Dented and Painted Society, the work has text printed in red ink on sanitary pads. “The pads are a physical metaphor of the taboos in the society and the text on it are the voices of people sharing their opinion about their body,” says Sharma. Another artist Deepa Jayaraman’s work is on the same lines. Titled Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who is the Most Painted of All!, the work has images of women wearing nail paint, sindoor, bindi and lipcolour.
“I find painted a very intriguing compliment. I am celebrating paint on women through my works. Paints and colours are tools of a woman’s expressions,” says Jayaraman. Other artists include Kavita Singh Kale, Maya Pillai, Sabrina Osborne and Manmeet Devgun. While Kale and Pillai’s works deal with the issue of gaze exerted on women, Osbrone and Devgun comment about the same issue through videos.
Catch it live
What: RAPE, an art show
On till: April 30
Timings: 11am to 7pm
Where: Art Bull, F-213C, first floor, SIS House, Lado Sarai
NEAREST METRO STATION: Qutub Minar on the Yellow Line