The exhibition marks the third solo show of Debasish Mukherjee at Akar Prakar and is an artistic tribute to the city Benaras, of the past and the present through the medium of sculptural installations, paintings, and textile-based works employing a purposefully limited colour palette.
The concept of spaces is often defined by the lines and limitations placed in a three-dimensional area, but what these primary geometrical definitions neglect to take into consideration is our inhabitation of these spaces. The weight of our experiences and memories within the walls of one’s home or the street crossed too often are woven into the fabric of the place. In his latest solo exhibition, artist Debasish Mukherjee makes use of these limitations, the elemental aspects of the spaces, the line, the architecture and the everyday objects to create visual metaphors in an effort to uncover the dormant stories of his past. An aesthetic that combines the language of abstract expressionism and structural minimalism, The silhouettes of the ghats, the lanes, the structures, and the steps take on the manifestation of the city of Benares, a place that is his muse and a mystery yet to be solved. Having spent years of his childhood at his maternal grandmother’s house in Benares and then again as a student of painting at the Banaras Hindu University, he spent some of the most formative years of his life in the city
A remembrance of the days gone by and the reality of its present, the essence of the city forms the premise of the suite of works displayed in this exhibition. With a history of countless cycles of destruction and revival at the centre of its past, the works like Monsoon Fables and Pakka Mahal are a reference to the recurring historical and current displacement and resettlement of the populace. The carved-out bricks and grids of sites and lands, within the motif of the almirah wide open and submerged, connotes the idea of unlocking our memories of the familiar places of the past.
An archive of the localities and mohallas of Benares is silk printed on the frames of rice paper and handmade paper in the work 1781, the year these names were documented and many of these places continue to retain their names. These names similarly can be encountered upon closer observation of the pillar-like structure in the work Persistence of memory with a tree hollow at its centre. Mukherjee uses the contradictory nature of the medium of the two works to reinforce the intrinsic duality and contention that our history holds.
Curator, Siddhi Shailendra says, “Mukherjee’s practice is an investigation into the relationship between objects, architecture and our memories. Similar to how Gaston Bachelard contemplates in his text ‘The Poetics of Space’, Mukherjee uses the iconography of the shelter, closets, and drawers of a home to invoke areas of intimacy and secrets. What was once suppressed within the subconscious, is provoked and unravelled thus creating a space within one’s mind for contemplation and confrontation of the most basic emotions of safety and play that we experienced in our childhood.”
Akar Prakar, D-43, 1st Floor, Defence Colony, New Delhi - 110024, India.
Kiran Nadar Museum of Art
Anita Dube Anju Dodiya Alke Reeh Astha Butail Atul Dodiya Desmond Lazaro Mithu Sen N S Harsha Sheba Chhachhi Shilpa Gupta Subodh Gupta Parul Gupta Prajakta Potnis Ranbir Kaleka Sumakshi Singh Shambhavi Thukral & Tagra Vivan Sundaram Waqas Khan
Sep 18, 2023 - Dec 10, 2023
10:30 am - 6:30 pmEvent Details