Anupam Roy: Broken Cogs in the Machine: D-53 Defence Colony, New Delhi

6 July - 5 August 2022

The Foundation of Indian Contemporary Art (FICA) in collaboration with the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia is pleased to present an exhibition of works by Anupam Roy titled Broken Cogs in the Machine and is a culmination of Roy's journey with the FICA Emerging Artist Award, which he received in 2018. Supported by Vadehra Art Gallery, the exhibition will remain open for public viewing at their contemporary art gallery from 6 July – 5 August 2022.


Anupam Roy’s art practice emerges from a continued engagement with grassroots politics that has led to the development of a vernacular vocabulary around modes of collaborative making, tools of resistance and a multitude of contexts around art and activism. Moving beyond conventional formats of display, his drawings and paintings are informed by a discursive, political witnessing and an awareness of the deep roots of systemic violence and injustice.


Through this exhibition, Anupam brings together an inventory of work encompassing a range of forms and explorations with media, looking at the historical constitution of the working class in the contemporary moment, its resident fragilities and its motile, migrant presence as a well-oiled cog across multiple terrains of functionality. It follows a concept of ‘brokenness’ that he believes addresses the experience of being part of a larger system while retaining a sense of individual agency and personhood. The cog, as it turns through systems, negotiates states of passivity and modes of organization that require it to occupy certain strategies and directions. With this line of thought, Roy uses the cog as a pivot to argue the nature of ‘brokenness’ as an engagement with the political subject(ivity) of change, and more importantly, as a method of developing a self-reflexive artistic practice.


Broken Cogs in the Machine speaks to Roy’s conversations with and within the expanses of movements, forms of protest, socio-economic identities and the binaries of language; it zeroes in on an attempt to think about representation by addressing the impossibilities of the same. Who are we within the institution? How do we take shape? For him, this exhibition appears as a space of convening the various incapabilities of definition, differentiation and discourse, creating a stage to think of and encounter ways of being that meditate on what it means to break, resist, and remain broken.




Anupam Roy’s practice reflects his experiences and observations in the hinterlands of rural Bengal where he currently lives and works, the urban landscapes of metropolitan Delhi, as well as in Central and North Eastern India where he has engaged in regional political inquiry. He studied contemporary art at Ambedkar University, Delhi and did his second MA in Fine Art from De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, supported by Charles Wallace Long term Scholarship. His works have been exhibited at several exhibitions including the 2018 Triennial: Songs for Sabotage, New Museum, New York, and he had his first institutional solo show at Project 88 in 2019. He is the recipient of the 2018 FICA Emerging Artist Award. Anupam has a parallel practice as a designer of political posters, signage, and graffiti. He has conducted numerous workshops on the design and conception of political posters with different radical political and activist groups all over India.a