An old house in a posh colony in South Delhi is teeming with diverse artworks

An old house in a posh colony in South Delhi is teeming with diverse artworks

By BHUMIKA POPLI | | 6 May, 2017
Pamposh Enclave, Priyanka Chowdhary, FICA, Shefalee Jain, Babu Eshwar
Pahunch ghar by Priyanka Chowdhary.
A collaborative exhibition between artist Priyanka Chowdhary and FICA has turned a regular residence in Delhi into an art gallery. Here, unforgettable and impactful works of art, on the theme of ‘home’, have been put on display, writes Bhumika Popli.
At first glance, number C-13, a house located in Pamposh Enclave, Delhi, looks like a usual residence. One could easily give it a miss, since the dwelling is shrouded by an overgrown mango tree and also needs a fresh coat of paint. The building also looks like an abandoned one among the many polished homes in the locality.  But the scenario is poles apart inside.  There is fresh energy and great imagination at play indoors. 

A number of artworks, such as sound installation, an art library, drawings on the wall and photobooks are on display in this two storey house. The house was used as a studio space by artist Priyanka Choudhary for over seven years. As Choudhary is now moving on to another space, she, in collaboration with Foundation of Contemporary Art (FICA), decided to open its doors to other artists before closing it for herself one last time. Inside, one can see a tribute of sorts to the space.

One of Chowdhary’s artworks looks at the history of leaving behind a house. “Pamposh enclave is primarily a Kashmiri settlement,” says Choudhary. “My work titledwhich is a series of drawings and installations, is the artwork from the recollection of memories of people settled here. I had asked them to draw the way they remember in their homes back in Kashmir and within the conversation they shared their childhood and youth with elation and certain sadness.”

Choudhary has also created a permanent artwork in the building —a black concrete pillar. In this structure, some of the works are seen peeping out. “I have stuffed some of my concrete and metal works in the pillar which are giving support to the building,” says Chowdhary. She has no qualms in parting with her works and thinks of it as a process of moving on. “I have a very strong relationship with the house given it has shaped a part of my art practice. I had to leave something behind to the building in return. Also when people from Kashmir told me that they had brought nothing but a couple of suitcases from Kashmir, I was sure that I was going ahead with my thought.”

Artists such as Babu Eshwar Prasad, BlueJackal, Chandan Gomes, Gagan Singh, Inder Bhan Madan, Karthik KG, Khursheed Ahmad, Lokesh Khodke, Priya Ravish Mehra,  Priyanka Choudhary, Shefalee Jain, Shivangi Singh, Showkat Kathjoo, Thlana Bazik, Vivek Moktan have participated it this collaborative show. They have used this place for around three weeks to create the works. 
Artist Shefalee Jain, for her work The Strangest Sights of Man(2), drew inspiration from the “perfect” world of advertising. She says, “For a disabled person when one sees the flawless body, advertising becomes a kind of freak show; that too a violent one. In the artwork I am trying to turn the gaze around and projecting how the freakishness lays within the ‘normal’ advertisements.
Artist Shefalee Jain, for her work The Strangest Sights of Man(2), drew inspiration from the “perfect” world of advertising. She says, “For a disabled person when one sees the flawless body, advertising becomes a kind of freak show; that too a violent one. In the artwork I am trying to turn the gaze around and projecting how the freakishness lays within the ‘normal’ advertisements.
Babu Eshwar Prasad’s work titled Between the Winds is a piece which comprises a drawing, light box, television and a sound collage, where the seven-and-a-half sound collage is the ambient sounds a person hears both in and out of a house. He says, “Along with the ambient echoes we hear constantly I have put sounds I used to hear in my childhood like that of a tick-tock of a wall clock and the rhythm of a sewing machine. In the light box which looks like a film strip I have used the pictures of the windows from this house itself.”
FICA mobile library.
Artist Shefalee Jain, for her work drew inspiration from the “perfect” world of advertising. She says, “For a disabled person when one sees the flawless body, advertising becomes a kind of freak show; that too a violent one. In the artwork I am trying to turn the gaze around and projecting how the freakishness lays within the ‘normal’ advertisements. All of us undergo changes and this is what is normal is.”

Vidya Shivadas, director, FICA, thinks of the space as a way to look at different possibilities in a house. “In this house built somewhere in 1950s we wanted to experiment with diverse art practices linked both directly and metaphorically with the concept of house. Here, along with the artworks, various programmes have also been organised for the public.”

On the last day, 7 May at 5.30 p.m., a talk on will take place at the venue. This programme will start with discussions on Inder Bhan Madan’s cartoons, whose art is also a part of the exhibition here. The late engineer and cartoonist Madan, for a period of 50 years, made more than 10,000 works. His satirical cartoons remark on the political and historical events of India. The speakers Shobha Madan (daughter of Inder Bhan Madan), Ravikant (historian and writer) and Vishwajyoti (graphic novelist and cartoonist) will talk about the potential of an archive of this nature which was brought before the public eye only recently.

 

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