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Exhibition showcases art works with activist, political overtones

A new exhibition by Delhi-based artist-activist Probir Gupta here presents works of art layered with activist and political overtones, and explores the idea of archiving memory.

Anshramehdi

AnshramehdiBy Anshramehdi

Published on 15 Dec 2019 9:18 AM GMT

Exhibition showcases art works with activist, political overtones
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Exhibition showcases art works with activist, political overtones
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New Delhi: A new exhibition by Delhi-based artist-activist Probir Gupta here presents works of art layered with activist and political overtones, and explores the idea of archiving memory.

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Presented by Anant Art, the solo exhibition, "Family is Plural", which opened at the Bikaner House on December 7, is the artist's representation of memory as the point of intersection of personal, political and historical.

Curated by London-based art critic and writer Shaheen Merali, the show seems to give socio-political events an artistic, thought-provoking spin through paintings, sculptures, and installation work.

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Gupta's intricately-detailed work titled "The Indian Tempest", that uses both photography and painting, builds upon citizen mass movements that marked the Arab Spring earlier this decade, and later came to unify India in collective anguish after the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape case.

With the images of a gas mask, a child being trodden upon and various inverted and headless figures give a theatrical element to the piece.

Gupta, who believes the "visual is a language of protest", said that for his work he needs to engage with events happening around him.

"Visual arts is my medium today, if I was not a visual artist, I would have been a filmmaker, a writer or a songwriter. For me, above everything is humanity. I don't like any human being to be hurt, discriminated against or to lose her or his democratic rights," the 59-year old artist said.

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Another work, "Indian Boat", is made using political posters, rubber stamps and a magnified helmet covering a headless child.

Through this piece, he offers a critique of militarism and bureaucracy and makes a powerful statement about oppression and control.

With each work densely packed with significance, the show offers the viewer an intellectually stimulating experience when it comes to unpacking and interpreting the artist's vision, and unravel each layer charged with political meaning, as one goes.

"'Family is Plural' is a very special curation for us, as it is not only a celebration of Anant Art's more than a decade long relationship with Probir Gupta, but it also speaks a language of great contemporary relevance within the context of social and political activism.

"His engagement is straightforward, with narratives of political struggle, activism and historical unfolding. The exhibition promises a visually exciting and thought-stimulating experience," Mamta Singhania, founder director, Anant Art, said.

The exhibition will be on view till December 29.

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Anshramehdi

Anshramehdi

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