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.”
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.
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.