Attend A Mumbai Exhibition Using Art To Question & Disrupt The Creative Status Quo

Attend A Mumbai Exhibition Using Art To Question & Disrupt The Creative Status Quo
L: Poonam Jain & Yogesh Barve R: Art and Charlie

Imagine a conversation woven from discarded printing press remnants and robotic pen drawings, one that questions the very nature of creativity itself. This captivating dialogue isn't a scene from a science fiction film, but the heart of 'Three Questions at Once', an exhibition that transcends the sterile confines of a gallery. Here, the echoes of daily life, captured in the detritus of printing, intermingle with the intricate lines produced by machines. The result is a thought-provoking exploration of where human expression meets technological intervention, all brought to life by the works of two singular artists and the innovative vision of a curator.

Poonam Jain's work delves into the history of print, particularly its role in shaping daily life. Through installations using remnants from printing processes, she invites viewers to consider the often-unseen impact of everyday systems on our world. Jain also explores fading technologies like letterpress, transforming discarded components into playful, evocative forms.

Yogesh Barve, on the other hand, utilizes technology to examine the boundaries between human creativity and machine function. His project utilizes computer programs and pen plotters to create intricate drawings. These works highlight the evolving role of the artist in a world increasingly reliant on AI, prompting viewers to question who gets credit for creation – the human or the machine? Barve's focus on technology also raises social questions, particularly regarding the dehumanizing practice of manual scavenging, often associated with lower castes.

Curator Zeenat Nagree plays a vital role in the exhibition. Her innovative approach includes fragmenting the curatorial text across decks of cards, encouraging visitors to engage with the art in an interactive and playful way. This method not only reflects on the exhibition itself but also challenges traditional gallery behavior, prompting viewers to consider how they navigate a physical space in relation to art.

Beyond the individual artworks, Three Questions at Once sheds light on the challenges faced by contemporary artists, particularly financial pressures. Nagree acknowledges the difficulties artists face in sustaining their practice, especially without external support. The high cost of materials and the need to balance art with other income sources can be overwhelming, potentially forcing talented individuals to leave the field altogether. This struggle highlights a parallel with other creative fields like journalism, both requiring financial resources and facing similar difficulties in securing them.

Overall, Three Questions at Once is a thought-provoking exhibition that transcend a mere showcase of artwork. By bringing Jain and Barve together, the exhibition explores the potential of art to disrupt the status quo, while also acknowledging the challenges faced by artists in the contemporary world. Nagree's innovative approach further enriches the experience, inviting viewers to actively engage with the art and contemplate the broader questions it raises.

Follow Poonam here, Yogesh here and Zeenat here.