Body of work
Back with a solo in Mumbai after four years, Prajakta Potnis delves into the intersection of capitalism and biology
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, 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, 2019-20
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.
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.
Catch up on all the latest Mumbai news, crime news, current affairs, and also a complete guide on Mumbai from food to things to do and events across the city here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe