Wednesday, October 24, 2012

‘Apna Ghar’: Relooking at the prevailing concept of home

Vadehra Art Gallery hosts a new group show, entitled ‘Apna Ghar’ featuring the artworks of Chandan Gomes, Vicky Roy, Samudra Kajal Saikia and Nishtha Jain. In keeping with its vision and aim to give platform to new talent from contemporary Indian art world, and bring to the fore today’s perspective, the venue introduces the three artists, apart from Vicky Roy, who has been part of their earlier photography exhibit, ‘Click! Contemporary Photography in India’.

Based out of the country’s two major metropolitan cities, Delhi and Mumbai, the four participating artists probe the theme of ghar (home) through a series that unhinge the prevailing popular notion of it as an ‘exclusive private domain’. They try to dismantle this simplistic definition, addressing complex rituals, processes and relationships, which go into making of a home.

The exhibit collates projects, which have emerged out of each individual artist’s act of re-looking, evaluating and documenting their lives, in backdrop of everyday spaces, daily rituals, people with whom they share their own lives, and broader contemporary conditions of livelihood. These in a way are equally external and internal processes of looking.

How exactly is the core idea of ‘ghar’ or ‘home’ conceived? What kinds of spaces that we are addressing here?  These works are individual journeys by these artists, leading to the deciphering of underlying connection existing between people, objects, spaces, everything that makes up one’s home; a journey that leads to moments of anxiety, reassurance and self-discovery.

Curatorial inputs and context to their works have been provided by Bhooma Padmanabhan and Vidya Shivadas. Curatorially, the theme was explored in a rather organic way, with a series of photographic works by Chandan Gomes and Vicky Roy forming the initial framework for it. Both have been working around the subject of their homes and documenting the milieu within which they are set.

In the case of former, it was giving an insider’s perspective into the lives of the children at a home for street children in New Delhi, Salaam Balak Trust, where he grew up. For Chandan Gomes it was a sort of return to his parent’s humble house located in old Delhi as a photographer.

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