Curated by Shaleen Wadhwana
27 November 2020 – 15 January 2021 Monday – Saturday| 10.30 a.m. – 6.30 p.m.
D-53 Defence Colony, New Delhi, 110024
Vadehra Art Gallery is thrilled to present FRIN/GE, a group show curated by Shaleen Wadhwana, an independent arts educator and cultural heritage professional, whose curatorial practice explores meta-narratives in global history and artistic responses to contemporary social issues. Featuring a total of 25 artworks across a wide range of all-encompassing media, from paintings, textile, programming code and data, to photographs and videos, by artists Afrah Shafiq, Ruby Chishti, Anju Dodiya, Atul Dodiya, Sharbendu De, Renuka Rajiv and Avril Stormy Unger, Juul Kraijer, Ashim Purkayastha and Mithu Sen, FRIN/GE was conceived as a space in which to unpack the ideas and feelings that govern norms, behaviours and actions leading to the creation of an exclusion or periphery, which serve as foundational undercurrents for contemporary realities.
For Wadhwana, the formation of a fringe begins with a marginalised idea—a discomfiting feeling underneath a normative structure that supports systems, which keep something or someone “out” whilst allowing another “in”. This fringe is supplemented with a history of decisions made to appease, exclude, prosecute, nominally include, dismiss, or completely abandon. In evaluating the protagonists of the mainstream, and the structures that uphold the mainstream as such, Wadhwana is interested in exploring the unnerving fissures of cultural conversation in places where such conversations are rarely held.
“Whose stories are not being recorded in history? Who is not at the table? What ideas are we unwilling to accept? It is necessary to reflect if you and I are part of the invisible architecture that creates this ‘fringe’. This premise is represented by the slash ‘/’ delineating the majority alphabets F, R, I, N from G, E, allowing us to think about where we would occupy a position, and what we are willing to do about it,” says Wadhwana, as she invites viewers to choose their own entry points vis à vis these contemporary art practices to learn and reflect on their potential oblivious involvement in the creation and perpetuation of the fringes.
“An already challenging question became even more nuanced as we witnessed the spread of COVID-19. The artistic dialogue and the impetus of my curatorial concept widened to incorporate the developing realities of 2020 as the world rearticulates its responses to this ongoing global pandemic,” adds Wadhwana.
In this excerpt from the curatorial essay, Wadhwana elaborates: “In the show, Chishti highlights the disparate impact of the pandemic in the USA, which is coupled with Rajiv and Unger’s documentation of a changing Bangalore in India. They mirror the same concern – that receiving healthcare is not an equal human right. Shafiq uses custom code to create a simulated Marian figure that is multiple and diverse, allowing for various narratives to coexist, while Sen builds a lasting relationship with the viewer through her never-ending QR code artwork. These are in tandem with intrapersonal ecosystems depicted through Purkayastha’s recognition that inner demons are common to us all and the inward, selfexplorative journey by Anju Dodiya is crucial in understanding the unseen, unknown parts of ourselves. In trying to contextualise the marginalised ‘other’, Atul Dodiya showcases the historical imprints of social discrimination against the Indian Muslim identity, as does De through his meditative homage to the Lisu tribal identity. The final contemplation is through Kraijer’s melodious intersection of nature and humanity, wondering: who is this world being built for?”
While the show is on view at the gallery, where we’re undertaking strict health, sanitization and social distancing measures to ensure the safety of our visitors, we’re happy to be able to make engaging with the show a virtual possibility as well. To do so, we’re embracing a new immersive 3D digital technology experience via Matterport on our website, which offers a multi-dimensional mapping of the show: An extended curatorial essay and a comprehensive exhibition PDF are also available on request. Please write to email@example.com or call us at +911146103550 to set up an appointment prior to your visit.
ABOUT THE CURATOR
SHALEEN WADHWANA is an independent arts educator and cultural heritage professional. Her curatorial practise explores meta-narratives in global history and artistic responses to contemporary social issues, reflected in her current show FRIN/GE at Vadehra Art Gallery, Delhi. She has curated OSMOSIS, a 3 artist show at TARQ Gallery, Mumbai (2019) and co-designed India's first virtual artist residency Fissure with the Pollinator Interdisciplinary Lab (ongoing). As a Visiting Faculty at MIT Institute of Design, Pune, she teaches Big History and Design Futures and is the Humanities curriculum designer for their Innovation Programme. She has worked with cultural institutions like the British Museum, London, National Museum, Delhi and Chemould Prescott Road Gallery, Mumbai. She is academically trained in Art History (SOAS, London), Cultural Heritage Law (University of Geneva-UNESCO), Liberal Arts (Young India Fellowship, Ashoka University) and History (Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University). Recently, her research has been showcased at the Art and Antiquities Conference, Mumbai and in the India Perspectives Journal of the Ministry of External Affairs, India.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
AFRAH SHAFIQ is a multi/new media artist who brings together research, archival findings, history, folklore and fantasy to create interactive works born of remix culture. Her work has been exhibited at the Lahore Biennial (2020); Kochi Muziris Biennale (2018), The Fusebox Festival, Texas and the Computer Space festival Bulgaria (2017). She is currently part of a field research fellowship at the Garage Institute of Contemporary Art, Moscow. The artist lives and works between Goa and Bangalore.
ANJU DODIYA trained and received her fine arts degree from the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai, and works with images that centre on the emotional theatre of the inner world. She is also represented in several collections around the world, including the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, Mumbai; the Jehangir Nicholson Art Foundation, Mumbai; the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi; the Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon; and the Art Institute of Chicago, to name a few. The artist lives and works in Mumbai.
Born in 1967 in Digboi, Assam, ASHIM PURKAYASTHA completed a BFA and MFA from Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan. Purkayastha’s art is infused with activism as he often translates the trials and trauma of his home state Assam into his work. In 2004, he was awarded the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award, New York, as well as the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award, Canada, in 2001, in addition to receiving national recognition. The artist lives and works in New Delhi.
Widely considered one of India’s most significant artists, ATUL DODIYA was trained in Mumbai at the Sir J.J. School of Art, 1982, and École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1991–92. Dodiya became known in the nineties for his hyperrealist paintings depicting middle-class Indian life and for his watercolour and oil series on Mahatma Gandhi. A major monograph on Atul Dodiya, published by Prestel Verlag and Vadehra Art Gallery, was released in January 2014. The artist lives and works in Mumbai.
JUUL KRAIJER has been prolifically featured in a number of solo shows, more recently
Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire, Paris (2019); Huis Marseille Museum for Photography, Amsterdam, (2017); Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (2016); to name a few. Kraijer’s meticulous and exploratory methods have yielded a consistent and authentic oeuvre of over four hundred drawings, sculptures and videos. The artist lives and works in Rotterdam.
MITHU SEN works in a variety of media to explore and subvert hierarchical codes and rules, with particular reference to the ‘myth’ of sexuality, language, market, and marginalization. She has exhibited and performed widely at museums, institutions, galleries and biennales including, the Guggenheim Museum, Tate Modern, Queens Museum, Peabody Essex Museum, Palais De Tokyo, Art Unlimited: Basel, Kochi–Muziris Biennale, among others. Most recently, she was recognized as Performance Artist of the Year by India Today in 2020. The artist lives and works in New Delhi.
Drawing is central to RENUKA RAJIV’s work. They work across mediums such as paper mache, stitching, ball point, collage etc. Themes in the work revolve around family, friendship, physicality and verbal diarrhea. AVRIL STORMY UNGER is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice has spanned across durational performance, movement art, public interventions and installations. The themes explored in her work include gender, abuse and trauma, sexuality, Christianity, urban living and mental health. The artists live and work in Bangalore.
Born in 1963, RUBY CHISHTI is a Pakistani-American artist who studied at the National College of Art in Lahore, Pakistan. Her installations, sculptures, and site- specific works have been exhibited at the Asia Society Museum, NY; Queens Museum, NY; rossi & rossi Hong Kong; Aicon Gallery (London & New York); Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, India; the National Gallery Islamabad, Pakistan; Arco Madrid; Art Hong Kong; and The Armory Show NYC to name a few. The artist lives and works in New York City.
A lens-based artist, academic and writer, SHARBENDU DE spent the last eight-years creating Imagined Homeland on the unrepresented indigenous Lisu tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. A recipient of multiple grants and awards including Emerging Photographer of the Year 2018 by Feature Shoot and a Finalist, LensCulture Visual Storytelling Award 2019, De has exhibited work across France, UK, Italy, USA, Portugal, Georgia, Malaysia, Nepal and India. The artist lives and works in New Delhi.