I envision the creation of a space that brings back memories of Bombay’s fabled ‘reading rooms’. From the People’s Free Reading Room at Metro to the David Sassoon Library in Fort to the Mumbai Marathi Grantha Sangrahalaya in Dadar, these reading rooms have nurtured generations of readers and thinkers in the island city.
Each of the works on the walls in the booth, then, will be selected primarily by gauging whether they could find a home in any of these eclectic rooms. The theme of the works, of course, does not necessarily need to revolve around books - rather, there needs to be a certain sense of meditation and contemplation inherent in the works on display. As is fitting for a reading room, the art will be complemented by a library that will contain books with recommendations from artists and a set of titles that speak to the works on the walls.
‘Read and Reflect’ draws its title from the most common question accompanying paragraphs meant to be analysed by primary school children. There’s a certain innocence to the hang, an invitation to discover works for audiences who might be entering a contemporary art space for the first time, and -– in the contested terrains we live in today – an exhortation to take a moment to meditate upon the ways in which art can help us navigate our dystopian surroundings.