Wednesday, October 24, 2012

‘Disposable House’ and other artistic viewpoints of our affectionate abodes

Artists Chandan Gomes, Nishtha Jain, Vicky Roy and Samudra Kajal Saikia feature in a new show at Delhi-based Vadehra Art Gallery woven around the concept of home. 

Vicky Roy’s photographs resemble truly poignant frames shot in black and white. They draw out the peculiar characteristics of what makes a temporary space, Salaam Balak Trust, a home for street children in New Delhi. It incorporates the daily rituals of cleaning, studying and common dining, to curious portraits of young boys on the brink of adulthood sharing their lives.

Chandan Gomes’s cluttered and colorful interior of his parent’s home offers a different perspective. Brimming with objects and devoid of people it tells a very personal story about the people who live there, their likes, obsessions, habits and beliefs, through the inanimate objects that populates their home.

Extending these camera conversations is the film by Nishtha Jain, a Mumbai-based filmmaker. Her self-critical documentary ‘Lakshmi and Me’ offers a more nuanced look at her home as a shared space. This film on the life of the young girl who works at her house, and the unexpected new bond that develops over the period of making this film, puts forth a new set of questions about the invisible imprints of the people and events that makes one’s house home. It throws up questions about class and social behavior.

On a similar political note is the work of Samudra Kajal Saikia, whose project ‘Disposable House’ has been an ongoing effort to engage with questions of home as space, as security, as ritual, and as disposable and sustainable. Working across mediums like poetry, artists books, videos, paintings and performances, The artist’s work moves away from the purely personal into looking at home and making-home as a political and social act. In his work the disposable house becomes a metaphor for security at a time of increased migration, displacement, and mobility.

There will be related outreach & education programs during the exhibition.

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