NYC 24 Submission View


All Together Now: friendship and solidarity in the face of crisis

Submitted by: SUKANYA GHOSH

In our rapidly imploding civic and political society in India and the normalisation of communal hate, the only pockets of well-being and care are located within the networks of friendship and alliance. These loose amorphous structures branching outward, touching and connecting people provide an umbrella that shields us and brings hope. Artists communities have long been the refuge of change, formulations of the future and meditations of the past. Now more than ever, artistic fellowships become the bedrock on which the individual can brace themselves and draw strength to deal with the often violent and frenzied destruction of the idea of a secular and democratic country.

This exhibition seeks to uphold these friendships, workships, acquaintances, into presenting a series of works that stretch across various media and which tackle the notion of the Indian identity in these turbulent times in different ways. The artists share in common, their friendship, their growing unease at the situation in the country and a common trajectory through a studio and darkroom in Delhi. From informal gatherings, late night discussions, sharing work in the studio, looking seeing and bridging distances in all our practices, we have somewhere created a tender osmosis of thoughts and ideas. And a sense of identity and solidarity that is a rarity in today’s world.

The artists/ friends in this show all employ photography—analogue, digital, text and found images—in their diverse practices and their exploration of a contemporary current visual culture. From journalistic reportage, to analogue experiments in the darkroom, to investigating archival material, to pedagogic presentations of form, to re-looking at image practices within the lens of contemporary art; the works in this show promise an array of visual and textual material. Material that holds within it the idea of the 'now', in a fractured and increasingly violent country. A sectarian vision of the future that seems only mediated by the fragile bands of community and friendship.

How do we find succour when the world around us seems jarringly discordant and alienating? How to we make sense of our societies and communities through a common and shared present? How to turn the metaphoric photographic lens onto ourselves and the work that we produce, to create a telling narrative? The provocation for the show is to gather together the skeins of our varied praxes, to pack a suitcase as it were, to present a story of ourselves. A fine-tuned selection, throwing up a magic lantern of images, moving image and text, presenting through ourselves a microcosm of community which then expands into a notion of country, place and identity. Our practices as forensic evidence, records, of the times we inhabit. In the curation of this show, we delve into the very general—friendships, lab partners, associates—and present works that hone into the very specific—time, place and political reality.