Body of work

Updated: Mar 13, 2020, 10:32 IST | Dalreen Ramos | Mumbai

Back with a solo in Mumbai after four years, Prajakta Potnis delves into the intersection of capitalism and biology

Potnis at her studio
Potnis at her studio

A year ago, Prajakta Potnis started contemplating on the fragility of the human body. A septuagenarian uncle of hers, who she thought of as fit, started complaining of breathing issues. When medical investigations commenced, the doctor asked him about where he was previously employed. He had worked at a chemical factory and it had been 15 years since retirement but all of a sudden, it was these chemicals that began to react.

He woke up with seeds in his lungs, X- Ray Films in LED light boxes, 12 x 15 inches, 2020He woke up with seeds in his lungs, X- Ray Films in LED light boxes, 12 x 15 inches, 2020

Potnis began researching the case and found that it was common for these substances to lie dormant in the body for long periods of times. It got her thinking about workers in toxic environments — an exploration she highlights in her latest solo at a Colaba gallery, marking a return to Mumbai after four years.

11:23pm, Pencil, acrylic and emulsion on  lanaquarelle paper,  60 x 42 inches, 2019-2011:23pm, Pencil, acrylic and emulsion on  lanaquarelle paper,  60 x 42 inches, 2019-20

Aptly titled A Body Without Organs, a concept put forth by French philosopher and psychoanalyst Gilles Deleuse and Félix Guattari, the show comprises six LED light boxes, six large paper works, as well as an installation, video and slide projection. One of her many mediums include X-Ray film, the process of working with which she describes as "photographic", as it involved putting random objects like steel and wool under the scanner, much like exposing film roll. "I'm looking at the larger perspective of how the body becomes helpless through a capitalistic system, because you have no control over what is being absorbed by it," she adds.

Prajakta PotnisPrajakta Potnis

Even though she was part of shows in Germany and Sharjah in the recent past, Potnis says that this exhibition feels like a blank canvas for her. "I'm starting afresh and am curious to know what people think of it," she says. But she does want attendees to take away a glimmer of hope; the body, after all, carries "a strength of rebuilding" too.

Till May 9, 11 am to 7 pm
At Project 88, BMP Building, ground floor, Azad Nagar, Colaba.
Call 22810066

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