For city art gallery Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke’s tenth anniversary, cultural theorist, poet and curator Ranjit Hoskote has curated a thought-provoking two-part contemporary art show titled Dwelling.
It features the works of 24 artists including Atul Dodiya, Nicola Durvasula, Anita Dube, NS Harsha, Himmat Shah, Varunika Saraf and Tanya Goel.
“The problems of shelter and belonging claim our attention insistently today, at a time when more people than ever before in history have been forced into the precariousness of exile,” says Hoskote. “Those who feel threatened by the other’s presence in their midst appease their insecurities by rallying around xenophobic banners of identity.”
The show aims to questions what it means to form habitations and communities and to develop the idea of neighbourhood in an age of uncertainty and violence. “What is home to the citizen, and to the refugee?” asks Hoskote, referencing the 1951 work, Building Dwelling Thinking, by philosopher Martin Heidegger. “He emphasises that it is by dwelling ‘in things’, through nursing, nurturing, cultivating and constructing, that we most fully articulate life,” adds Hoskote.
Artist Varunika Saraf has created a charcoal and watercolour work titled The Cries, Too, Fall Like Rain in the Summer, a verse from German poet Breltot Brecht’s poem. The title invokes the disturbing political climate we inhabit, says Saraf. This work visualises a non-linear timeline of Indian history to depict the brutalities meted out on its citizens since Independence.
“Through images that revisit key moments and also lesser-known incidents of violence in Indian history, this work challenges the notion of peaceful dwelling and asks serious questions about what sort of dwelling we have made for ourselves,” she Saraf says.
The show also features Sudarshan Shetty’s, video work, Waiting for Others to Arrive, and Anita Dube’s 10-part suite of photographs, I-32 Tara Apartments. These older works discuss the ideas of home, migration and belonging as well.