Sculpture titled ‘I’ where the public has been invited to contribute material that are markers of their identity. The piece will evolve through the duration of the exhibit.
Sculpture titled ‘I’ where the public has been invited to contribute material that are markers of their identity. The piece will evolve through the duration of the exhibit.

I — An Exploration of the Self: The motive is to turn art gallery into an introspective space

The exhibition features installations by artists Harsh Raman, Iti Agarwal, Michaela Strobel, Mitwa Abhay Vandana, Suri, and Sheba Alexander.
By Naina Arora | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON APR 25, 2018 11:36 AM IST

As a spectator, one’s role at an art exhibition is limited to viewing the works and absorbing the underlying meaning. However, a week-long showcase in New Delhi, titled I — An Exploration of the Self, is more about engaging the audience. In curator Karan Talwar’s words, it is “essentially about turning the gallery into an introspective space”.

The “participatory” exhibition, which begins on April 25, features installations by artists Harsh Raman, Iti Agarwal, Michaela Strobel, Mitwa Abhay Vandana, Suri, and Sheba Alexander from the Harkat Collective.

The idea is to get people to view the works through the lens of identity. Citing an example of one of the works, Talwar says, “You’ll see a human sculpture made of metal and wires where we’ve put a call for people to donate, temporarily or permanently, objects that define them in some way. People are invited to put their object of identity on the sculpture. This could even be mundane material possessions like a T-shirt, spectacles, a bindi, personal rings or a cap.”

Artist Harsh Raman.
Artist Harsh Raman.

Another installation, artist Harsh Raman’s ‘Masterpiece’, aims to make people delve deep into what’s the most important thing in life for them. “It’s an experiential art on the wall that’s an amalgamation of my journey that has brought me here till now. It’s a combination of all my works so far, yet the final form is unlike anything I’ve done before,” says the artist. “The work changes meaning as the audience changes. It’s designed in such a way that different people will see different things in it.”

Then, there’s one based on the “concept of labour”, but it doesn’t get activated without the viewer’s contribution. “One is invited to blow into a tube of a box facing a projection screen. There is a mechanism where the moment you blow into the tube, it reveals the projection — footage of protest marches, American Civil Rights movement, Indian Independence movement etc. It only gets activated with your breath, [touching upon] how are you using your breath for collective action,” the curator explains.

Apart from this thought-provoking exhibition — that has been realised as part of Curatorial Intensive South Asia 2017, a fellowship by the Goethe-Institut /Max Mueller Bhavan Delhi in collaboration with Khoj International Artists’ Association — there’s more in store. One can take part in poetry reading (6.30pm) and a self-portraiture workshop (3-5pm) on April 28.

Catch it live

What: ‘I’ – An Exploration of the Self

Where: Exhibit 320, Lado Sarai, New Delhi

From: April 25 to 30

Timing: 11am to 7pm

Nearest metro station: Saket on Yellow Line

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