Parul Sinha, Threads wrapped over and over again, making it difficult to escape, Ink, glass marker on paper. 2016, 39 x 88 inches, 2016. Image courtesy: The artist.
The Falling Leaf: On Entropic Currents
Exhibition dates: 15 – 25 July 2016
Venue: Gallery Latitude 28, New Delhi
Every genuinely modern/contemporary artwork stages the processes of entropy within itself. Every such artwork operates by deforming and dissolving traditional artistic forms. It is in this way that an artwork gives to its spectator a promise that the system controlling this spectator’s individual fate will also be undermined by entropic forces and will eventually dissolve. — Boris Groys, "Poetics of Entropy"
Ceci n’est pas une exposition.
'The Falling Leaf' is a culmination of sessions/workshops at FICA and visits to the colleges I was assigned and the experience of interacting with the students and staff there. A lot of our initial discussions revolved around the issue of 'selection'. The term generated some anxiety and there was an obvious aversion to it and a desire to bypass it, Rancière's “ignorant school master” serving as our model and guide. 'Collaboration' as a curatorial model was discovered at the intersection of an assimilative desire to transfer/ temporarily displace my curatorial agency to the artists to imbibe some of their knowledge in a 'becoming-together' with them and my desire to expand the scope of participation in the Students' Biennale as well as stretching the spatio-temporal duration of the exhibition (SB<>Forum) itself. By shifting/displacing the curatorial agency to the students I was hoping to transfer the responsibility for participation to them in a bid to do away with the terminology of selection and replacing it with 'participation-collaboration'. Each student was responsible for her own participation and my role was largely that of a facilitator (interestingly that's among the first definitions of a 'curator') of the collaboration. This is not to say that I was doing away with the curatorial responsibility but by isolating the event from its presentation and by dividing the curatorial roles of each between the students and myself, I was aiming for a model that was more open and holistic.
The event conceptualised for the Students’ Biennale 2016, is a collaborative proposition by the students from the College of Art, Delhi. The ‘exhibition’ as an art-project will also serve variably as a ‘model’ for ‘life-drawing’ and a ‘residency’ for the participating students who will digest the experience of this collectively curated event through the course of the ‘exhibition’ to excrete/re-compose it into an art form that will be presented at the Students’ Biennale in Kochi. Throughout the course of the exhibition the artists will be active in space, feeling out and absorbing. The project in the semblance of an exhibition proposes ‘eating’ as an intimate mode of understanding — I cannot ‘know’ you so I will start by ‘eating’ (of) you. The gallery, will play the generous host for the duration of 10 days to these teeming ecologies of arteaters and will thence serve as the vital/istic Petri dish for these artistic and curatorial cultures.
Set to the theme of ‘entropy’ in both its connotations of chaos/ denaturation of a stable system as well as decay, the ‘exhibition’ follows the entropic trail to various disciplines and thematic domains, the prominent among them being ‘urbanity’ and ‘nature’. As such, transformation or metamorphosis of one state into another is recurring discovery that seeks to revise the largely negative valence of entropy, highlighting instead its regenerative/ creative potential. Limited not just to the subjects depicted, entropy seeds the very structure of the event where the definition of ‘exhibition’, ‘curator’ and ‘artwork’ are displaced and diffracted to be re-placed by a phenomenological mode of cognisance grounded in a ‘being together in space’ and ‘becoming’. As such the project can be considered as a Deleuzian exercise in deterritorialising oneself following “distinct but entangled lines”, one that seeks to study different ways of collaboration, of “coming together in space” and different sets of “multiplicities”.
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Installation view of Parul Sinha's Limited Access and Deepanshu Joshi's Victims of Entropy.
Vikrant Kano, Life Transformation, Ink on paper, 26 x 40 inches, 2016. Image courtesy: The artist.
Exhibition view(s) of 'The Falling Leaf'.