The 2011 Prague Biennale that opened for public viewing a few months ago, comprises three main sections – ‘Expanded Section’, ‘Art in General’ and ‘Focus Italy’.
‘Crossroads: India Escalate’ is a segment specifically devoted to the contemporary art from the country. It has been curated by Kanchi Mehta. One of the biggest and most keenly awaited art fairs in central Europe, this is the fifth edition of the biennale with a newly added India pavilion, in another indicator of the growing stature of the country’s rising stature in the domain of art internationally.
The four-month long event has given a place of pride to contemporary Indian art with a special pavilion that showcases about 50 works including paintings, drawings, sculptors, installations, and performance art by more than 20 senior and emerging artists including Sudarshan Shetty, Nikhil Chopra, TV Santosh, Riyas Komu, Gigi Scaria, Vivek Vilasini, Sarnath Banerjee, Monali Meher, and Shreyas Karle,
Among the artists featured, Charmi Gada Shah has conceived a façade for the art fair. Titled ‘Common Wall’’ the installation (4-ft-by-3-ft) is, in fact, part of a wall she chanced upon between houses in Miraj, a district in Maharashtra. The artist finds it quite fascinating how much one is able to learn about a house that gets demolished even by the remains of its façade. She found it a ‘very exciting’ experience to present her my work at the biennale. The feedback has been positive, she states.
Also on display as part of the India showcase is a 'donkey' by Sakshi Gupta made of fiberglass and sand, It apparently represents ‘one who has accepted the knowing that one doesn’t know'. The chance to show her art at the prestigious event means a lot to her, as she reveals in an interview. "It’s like an extension of myself being there."
It's a heartening fact that the contemporary Indian artists are getting the recognition and fame that is much deserved and long due thanks to prestigious exhibitions in Europe and other parts of the western world. The 2011 Prague Biennale is the most recent example of this trend.