Appalled by the brutal case of rape and death of the young Delhi student in December and a spate of similar incidents since then, several creative minds have joined hands to help make a difference and be heard through a joint campaign called RESIST. The intent is to focus a change in attitude, politics and the society at large. Planned as an evening of live performances, art and fashion installations that will steer the artist’s creativity towards a collective protest, RESIST will feature works by Anjolie Ela Menon, Arpana Caur, Mithu Sen, Alex Davis, Ram Rehman, Gigi Scaria, Manish Arora, Gauri & Nainika, Satyapaul and many others.
Why this platform?
“Originally, RESIST debuted in New Delhi in February at Gallery Engendered Space. The goal was to create an immersive and interactive environment for the audience that would dissolve the distance between viewer and the artwork that typically exists in a static museum or in a white cube gallery display. We wanted to challenge and re-invent the gallery environment and create a broader sensory experience where the audience would become an integrated part of the ‘live’ installation. Most importantly we wanted the artwork to generate empathy,” says Myna Mukherjee, curator and Director of Gallery Engendered Space, She added that using fashion, as a tool to spread a message was exciting, and pairing every fashion garment and designer with an artist helped in focusing on fashion’s creative roots during the collaborations.
Mumbai to the fore
In Mumbai, Gallery Beyond will be presenting the event. “Is there a wind-up point / closure to bring in awareness that might lead to active participation? RESIST is just that,” says Vibhuraj Kapoor, Director Gallery Beyond. Kapoor stresses that the focus of the event is the much-needed attention from everyone in the country, so it was important to get this event to Mumbai as well. As far as the participants are concerned, they are pleased to lend their support to this cause and feel that it’s essential to use creative mediums not just for entertainment but for expression of thought as well. “Art is one of the most powerful expressions to stimulate a conversation in. Having born in India, we have art and culture ingrained in us since birth, and so it is the best way to put across a social message like this,” feels artist Puneet Kaushik, who will have an installation, Between the Altar and the Butcher, and seven canvas paintings on display.
Designer Arjun Saluja, who will present a collection in collaboration with artist Balbir Krishan is of the opinion that the unusual nature of the event is what inspired him to be a part of RESIST. “Gender duality plays an important role in my work and contradictions fascinate me. Also, I believe our ethics find a way into our work consciously or subconsciously. If creativity can be informed and lend itself to progressive change then it’s desirable,” he asserts.
Tunes for societal change
“Our rap is mainstream and appeals to a cross section of the society. We use our lyrics to show that entertainment can be socially responsible. Our music engages with topics such as female infanticide, police brutality, gender violence and alcoholism among other things,” says, Max of Delhi-based band Desi HQ, who will perform on May 17 at Gallery Beyond.