Consulate General of Switzerland organises Waste Land exhibition in Mumbai

Jun 10, 2018, 07:25 IST | Kusumita Das

Seven artists reimagine debris to explore how waste is a container for memory

Consulate General of Switzerland organises Waste Land exhibition in Mumbai
Used and discarded cigarette butts by Prashant Pandey

As part of the biennale public diplomacy campaign"70 Years of Swiss Indian Friendship", the Consulate General of Switzerland in Mumbai has organised an exhibition titled Waste Land. The TS Eliot-inspired title attempts to looks at waste with new eyes. While it refers to trash, the exhibition also looks at how the refuse of society also contains memory. Seven contemporary Indian artists will be displaying their works created entirely of waste material.

Art historian Birgid Uccia is the brains behind this initiative."The idea is to link waste to personal and collective memory and change the way society sees waste — something that's unhygienic and impure, that needs to be gotten rid of immediately. What people don't realise is that waste shows you trends in consumption, production, demographics, individual behaviour and memory. There's so much stored in waste that is invisible. The artists, therefore, have use various kinds of discarded material to point at what's invisible."

The artists who will be featuring their works include Aaditi Joshi, Asim Waqif, Bosudhara Mukherjee, Kaushik Saha, Kausik Mukhopadhyay, Prashant Pandey and Tanya Goel. Joshi, who has exhibited her works in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, has created an installation made of small biomorphic cluster of plastic bags, painted in various colours and mounted on a wooden armature.

Car door salvaged from an accident vehicle by Asim Waqif
Car door salvaged from an accident vehicle by Asim Waqif

She has applied heat to manipulate the texture and shape of the plastic bags that she has reused from her earlier works. Another artist, Waqif has worked on a car door salvaged from an accident vehicle. Pandey's sculpture"Universe" is suspended mid-air, and is made of used cigarette butts. Goel harks back to the days of affordable housing in Delhi between 1950s and 70s in her series of frescoes titled"Fragments C.P.W.D. New Delhi". She has used pieces of demolished buildings in that era for this work.

"We are trying to attach meaning to waste by showing people how waste is not anonymous. And while the classical recycling goes on, another kind of recycling is happening through art, which is called the aesthetic recycling," says Uccia, who has been working to study contemporary art in India for nearly a decade.

As part of the exhibition there will also be a panel discussion with experts from the Swiss Embassy who have been working in the field of waste management."We want to connect minds from Indian contemporary art and Swiss waste management technology, and create some pioneering ideas in the process."

When: 11 am to 6.30 pm, till August 4
Where: Tarq Art Gallery, ground floor, Dhanraj Mahal, Apollo Bunder, Colaba
Call: 66150424

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