Pinch your Thumb and Three Fingers
28 March - 15 June 2018
By Neha Kudchadkar
Curated by Marie DuPasquier
Mumbai Art Room’s second Curatorial Lab is in partnership with Pro Helvetia - The Swiss Arts Council and Display, a gallery and project space in Berlin. It launches with Pinch your Thumb and Three Fingers, a solo exhibition by Mumbai based artist Neha Kudchadkar, curated by Swiss curator Marie DuPasquier. The exhibition features Hand Job, a series conceived during Kudchadkar’s stay at the Künstlerhaus Stadttöpferei Neumünster and is considered to be the beginning of a longer conversation between both artist and curator and Display and Mumbai Art Room.
Pinch your thumb and three fingers, tip, scroll, double tap, smart zoom in and out, rotate, swipe, open, drag, spread. The multi-touch manual will teach you effectively how to develop new fingertip abilities and adopt gestures or communication skills to navigate the haptic system of our black screen devices. How formed or deformed are the digits and palms of our hands? Can human beings adapt to being in touch without touching?
Neha Kudchadkar, through her work Hand Job, grasps the tactile-kinesthetic relationship between bodies and objects, technological devices, that populate our daily life and intimate spheres. In her practice, she works predominantly with clay and creates objects, extensions of her body, ready to be used and added to a potential augmented body. Ceramic has long accompanied humankind in the history of technology, as from antique craft and means of construction to being a component of industrial engineering, it joined the most sophisticated equipment that compose our mobile devices. Even as the artist acknowledges this, her corporeal engagement with the material to shape the ceramic tools allows her to imprint her digits and trace her own experience.
Bound but not restricted to this particular medium, with the sensitive materiality and movement that her work implies, she opens her practice up to other roles and media such as photography, performance or video. She moves through the numerous boundaries of geographical and political spaces, through those of gender and culture, to lay across them, to connect and open a dialogue within disciplines on materiality and the body. Pinch your Thumb and Three Fingers is a sensitive and intimate contact zone in which Neha Kudchadkar fleshes out the portrait of our human condition; an exhibition on connectivity.
- Text by Marie DuPasquier
Kudchadkar is a visual and performing artist currently based in Mumbai. She is a graduate of the Royal College of Art, London, and the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S.U. Baroda. She is a recipient of the Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarship and the Junior Fellowship, Government of India. She has chosen to negotiate various roles - dancer, ceramicist, researcher, teacher, choreographer, administrator, collaborator – that inform one another and broaden her approach as an artist and maker. Neha places herself in her social, political, material, cultural, and physical environment through her work - sometimes playful, sometimes somber. She often uses her body as the subject and object of her work and as a tool for the making of it. www.nehakudchadkar.com
DuPasquier is a Swiss independent curator and museologist, active between Zürich and Berlin. She graduated in History of Art and Museology at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. For several years, she has been associate curator and administrator at Maison d’Ailleurs, Museum for science-fiction, utopia and extraordinary journeys and was president of the Biel/Bienne Photography Festival in Switzerland. Although her work recalls photography, contemporary art, science-fiction, museum- and curatorial studies, it also reflects her curiosity for a transmedia and transdisciplinary approach. She is director of Display, a space for art and curatorial experimental practices in Berlin. She focuses on experimenting curation, exhibition design and devices and is engaged in questioning image systems, investigating the positions, movements and relationships of the different actors and bodies in the space and considering the digital universes. She is currently initiating the curatorial research Contemporary Bodies, for 2018-2019, supported by Pro Helvetia – Swiss art Council which will be the base of a series of exhibition in Display, Berlin Germany, Switzerland, India and Belgium in 2018-2019. www.display-berlin.com