New Delhi: Akar Prakar gallery presents the second project in its six-month-long season of avant garde Bangladeshi art. TitledA Finger On The Pulse, this group show has been curated by Tanzim Wahab and will include Bangladeshi artists such as Dilara Begum Jolly, Mahbubur Rahman, Imran Hossain Piplu, Anisuzamman Sohel, Promotesh Das Pulak, Mizanur Rahman Sakib, Mazia Farhana and Abir Shome. The show will be held at Akar Prakar, 43, Defence Colony, New Delhi till January 11, 2019, 11 a.m to 7 p.m.
Says Reena Lath, Director, Akar Prakar: “The idea is to showcase artists who react to, or comment on the social context they live in. We will hint at Bangladesh and its recent history bit more explicitly here, but all the issues that will come to the fore – social justice, women issues, colonialism and its aftermath, etc. – will speak equally to Indian viewers.”
Writes Tanzim Wahab, curator, “How to be relevant, when speaking about the present? Competing truths and parochial histories are enforced by armies of trolling gatekeepers in the great open of our digital age. Doctored narratives resonate through the dark void of echo chambers, while kaleidoscopic realities cram endless feeds of “lives” and “stories”. Authorities, down to the most obtuse, have spotted the condition; by advancing alternative facts they have dismembered what was left of our social bodies with their cleaving tactics. When indispensable commons as factual truths are being tribalised, when the agora is turned into an arena, a fragmentary discourse might be all that is left to sketch a semblance of reality.”
Thus Finger on the pulse is organised around fragments. The exhibition showcases work by eight artists from Bangladesh whose age span covers three generations. Their practice entails use of various media, establishing characteristic opinions on social events: there is no shared form or theme which unites them in a linear presentation. Yet a story, fragile and trembling as it might be, emerges from the juxtaposition. Loosely assembled, multifaceted, it has no clear beginning and no definitive end. It stitches facts, emotions and anecdotes that, taken together, might well sketch Bangladesh’s “now”.
There is something oddly stimulating in placing a finger on one’s pulse. It is the wait, perhaps, the short lapse of time before the next blood wave hits again. Or the rhythm, the eerie regularity of throbbing arteries set on the catch and release movement of the faraway cardiac valves. Artists here are immersed in the same kind of stirring quest. They keep the pulse of events in check, chronicling their realities. Seemingly unconnected, their fragments pencil something wider when considered together; a state-of-affairs which pulsates under our very fingers.