Fondle / चिकट
6 September - 15 November 2018
By Murari Jha with Devarshi Gohil and Anubhuti Trust and outreach partner Rubaroo
Curated by Shaunak Mahbubani
For the exhibition Fondle / चिकट at the Mumbai Art Room, curator Shaunak Mahbubani imagines the space not as a white cube, not as a closed room, but rather as a playground. Triggered by questions unearthed by the #MeToo movement, Fondle / चिकट is an experimental space for delving into the complexities around consent and body rights. Within the playground, we encounter several of Delhi-based artist Murari Jha's hybrid creatures. Inspired by both Dada readymades and Surrealist erotic objects, these sculptural forms cheekily combine allusions to the body's erogenous zones with everyday materialities of the South-Asian region. Playing with position, scale, weight, material, movement and other interventions, Jha imbibes into each of his creatures a set of preferences of interaction, often hidden and imperceptible until a labour of understanding is undertaken.
Adding to the playground, illustrator Devarshi Gohil, and NGOs Anubhuti Trust and Rubabroo Foundation perform interventions to enrich our understanding of the subject and translate the space to larger audiences. Utilizing the unique public location of the Mumbai Art Room, the exhibition is another small step towards understanding ourselves and others as complex, multiplicitous beings while taking this exploration beyond the sphere of our insulated worlds.
This Curatorial Lab and exhibition has been supported by Inlaks India Foundation.
Shaunak Mahbubani is a nomadic curator, currently living in New Delhi, India. They primarily pursue projects under the series 'Allies for the Uncertain Futures’ initiated in 2016. This exhibition series is focused on exploring the possibilities of socio-political, ecological and techno-evolutionary futures through the lens of non-duality. They are interested in complicating boundaries between artwork and the viewer through the deployment of participatory devices, diffusions, and the use of non-white cube spaces. They were a part of the inaugural edition of CISA (Curatorial Intensive South Asia) initiated by Khoj International Artist's Association and Goethe Institut Delhi, and have previously curated exhibitions at 1Shanthi Road, TIFA Working Studios and Gati Dance Forum. Mahbubani is also currently Curator, Programming at The Gujral Foundation. See previous project at www.shaunak.co
Murari Jha is a visual and performance artist based in Delhi. He earned his MFA in 2012 from B.R. Ambedkar University, Agra, and BFA in 2010 from Patna University. Jha works with a variety of different media, including performance, installation and drawings. He says “My art is a personal narration of everyday experiences of the socio political, speci\ically looking at gender and its actions which lie at the core of body politics.” He is keenly interested in the performativity of body-object-spectator, and the exploration of bringing this performativity into the exhibition space in various ways. Highlights of his work include: Residency at UNIDEE, Italy (2017), छेद (Live performance) at KNMA Noida (2017), The Lane at Theertha International Artist Collective, Colombo, Sri Lanka (2016), Touch Everything (Installation) at Italian Culture Center, New Delhi (2016), Barrow (Installation+ Durational Performance) at Adil Shah Palace Serendipity Art Festival, Goa, curated by HH Art Spaces (2016), Bhumi organized by Clark House Initiative (2015), and Body, Structure & Space at 1ShanthiRoad, Bangalore (2015). See previous work at www.murarijha.com
Devarshi Gohil is an architect and illustrator who runs Studio seaweed, a multidisciplinary design studio. She has a keen interest in illustration and zine making. This would be her first zine with her new property Print club Mumbai. Follow her work on instagram @devartme
Anubhuti Trust is a non-profit organisation/NGO formed and is self-led by women, who have dealt with caste, class, gender, language and ethnicity based discriminations. They are focused on the area of youth-development both directly through programmes dedicated primarily to the development of girls and young women, who are the most excluded from leadership and democratic processes, as well as through stakeholder sensitisation and advocacy. Know more at www.anubhutitrust.org
Rubaroo is an NGO working on the issue of Child Sexual Abuse, based out of Mumbai. They conduct safety training workshop ‘My Body My Safety’ for children, teenagers; in schools, NGOs, corporates and other spaces. They also provide Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) workshops, covering the nuances of sexuality and reproductive health. Know more at www.rubarooindia.com