Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fwd: WO | MAN : From the Personal to the Political


A part of our current exhibition 'Traps for Troubadours' at Clark House Bombay, where we extend our collaboration with the Kadist Art Foundation, to our partners here in Bombay, WO | MAN is presented in collaboration with the Sir JJ School of Art. 
Sir JJ School of Art Bombay, Main Exhibition Hall
Opens 28 February | 4pm-6pm
Exhibition continues till 14 March, 2014
Open Monday to Saturday 11am-6pm
With: Salik AnsariShruti BhosleMakarand DhotreYogesh KambleLini RadhakrishnanAditya RajputJinal Sangoi and Kruttika Sequeira.
Curated by Rebecca John Nikhil Raunak, Clark House Initiative 
Image caption: Salik Ansari, from the photographic series 'Where it all begins', 2014. Courtesy the artist.
Travelling to and through India for me is also travelling through a culture which is increasingly becoming a part of my own identity as a German with an Indian grandfather and more Indian relatives than German ones. This travel has been a result of diverse personal links, coincidences and interactions, and has led me from Bangalore to Bombay to the Clark House Initiative. Through discussions with artist Nikhil Raunak the idea of a collaborative exhibition project arose, giving me the opportunity to get in touch with art students whose work he had been following. As the topic of gender, in the context of cultural studies, became important to me, in Germany as well as in India, I chose this focus as a starting point for discussions and reading sessions with the group. 
Keeping in mind that gender is currently a much discussed subject in Indian media and politics, and linked to many new rules and laws, this exhibition wants to look at the deeper cultural roots of the construction of gender identities and of the relationship between men and women in urban India today. Therefore eight young Bombay based artists in their third and final year of their Bachelors at Sir JJ School of Art and the Rachna Sansad Academy of Fine Arts and Crafts begin rethinking their own identity and ask questions that are too often forgotten:
Where do our ideas of gender duality come from?
How are these gender roles constructed?
How do they condition our lives?
Can we deconstruct these labels?
By doing so, personal questions become political ones: even while considering the discourse within private experiences, we came to realize that these cannot be thought about without the socio-political systems they are created in. Thinking about gender 'identity' is therefore going beyond the assumed divide between private and public. It will always be political to analyze the special case of Bombay, a modern global city full of diversity, where women and men still do not share equal access to public space: 'although relative to their countrywomen in other cities, women in Mumbai are privileged in their access to public space, they still have to strategize, consciously or unconsciously, to negotiate public space.' (Shilpa Phadke, Why Loiter? Women and Risk on Mumbai Streets, Delhi 2011, p. 8). By finding a visual language to express these thoughts, the exhibition is looking for connections between the ideas of gender and safety, exclusion and inclusion, protection and segregation.
Coming from two different art schools, different individual art practices and cultural backgrounds, the eight artists discussed these questions among themselves and now express them through their art works they created for this first group exhibition together. The curatorial collaborative Clark House Initiative has been in contact with the new generation of artists emerging from these two art schools. 
The show plans to use various mediums like sculpture, painting, print, photography, video and performance to explore several ideas of gender. Displayed at the historic main hall of Sir JJ School of Art, and taken out in the public space by several artistic interventions in Bombay, this exhibition attempts to create a socio-political dialogue not only within the artistic environment the students work in but also the city they live in. By analysing the ways of categorising, constructing and representing gender, the artists suggest alternate gender identities through a critique of the framework of our normative gender binary.        
- Rebecca John, February 2014, Bombay

'Wo│Man. From the personal to the political' is a booklet for the exhibition of the same name and the result of the collaborative and discursive project. Design: Yogesh Barve.

We thank the Professors and students of the Sir JJ School of Art for their help and support towards the exhibition. 
Special thanks to:  Vishwanath Sabale (Dean, Sir JJ School of Art), Anant Nikam (Head of Printmaking Department, Sir JJ School of Art), Manisha Patil (Head of Art History, Sir JJ School of Art). Manjiri Thakoor (Dean, Rachna Sansad AFAC), Madhulika Verma (Head of Art History, Rachna Sansad AFAC). Lisa Marei Schmidt, Catherine Nichols, Daniela Bystron, Dr. Britta Schmitz, Sophie Duplaix, Shai Heredia, Anuja Ghosalkar, Neelima P. Aryan. Ragini Bhow, Louise Haitz, Pia Jerger, Elisa Kaiser, Ina Litterst, Jan Metzger, Karen Bauer, Julia Bender, Laura Boeger, Kerstin Zerwes-Polgar, Bettine Theissen. E.C. John, Jacob John, Annie John, Philip John, Tania Philip, Rahel Philip, Aleys Louis, Melvin Louis, Tania Louis, Yohann Louis, Mary John, Satish Deshpande, Apurve Avram, Erich Theobaldt, Sigrid Theobaldt, Wolfgang Theobaldt, Barbara Theobaldt, Hagen Theobaldt, Jutta Theobaldt, Andreas Schweizer-Theobaldt. Yogesh Barve, Amol Patil, Poonam Jain, Prabhakar Pachpute, Rupali Patil, Sachin Bonde, Mangesh Kapse, Prasad Nikumbh, Prajakta Potnis, Justin Ponmany, Chinchu Kumar Sreekandan, Naresh Kumar, Ranjeeta Kumari, Tatiana Pozzo Di Borgo, Zasha Colah, Sumesh Sharma & RBT & Co.

For further information or press please contact Nikhil Raunak 0091 9920323550 | |
Address: Sir JJ School of Art | Fine Arts Building | Main Exhibition Hall, Dr. D. N. Road, Fort, Mumbai-400001.
Phone: +91-9820213816 |

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