Together Alone: A Mumbai Art Exhibition Exploring Art Created During Lockdown

Together Alone: A Mumbai Art Exhibition Exploring Art Created During Lockdown

Chemould Prescott is back with the third iteration of Modus Operandi. The exhibitions began back in 2018 with the aim of presenting the work of artists under one roof; in conversation with each other. While the first iteration focussed on the process and the second iteration presented the artist’s studio, the third iteration named ‘Together Alone’ (after Rashid Rana’s work) is an appropriate title that sets the tone for the premise of this particular iteration of Modus Operandi.

The exhibition will present 26 artists with over 250 works, focusing on how much art emerged during the pandemic years, a time when artists were ‘together alone’. Creative director Shireen Gandhy explains that the idea behind Modus Operandi emerged from a former colleague back in 2018. Shaleen Wadhwana conceived the idea of bringing Chemould artists under one roof at a price point that would induct younger buyers.

The exhibition focuses on smaller, gentler, price-sensitive works from the entire roster of gallery artists. It will include work from artists such as Anju, Atul Dodiya, Desmond Lazaro, Dhruvi Achraya, Jitish Kallat, Rashid Rana, Reena Kallat, Shakuntala Kulkarni, Bhuvanesh Gowda, Ritesh Meshram, Tanujaa Rane and more.

Modus Operandi III — Together Alone

Image Courtesy: Modus Operandi III 2022

“The central concern of Scaria’s recent practice is mankind itself, its essence, the meaning of existence, man’s relations with society, the world, and finally destiny. The journey of man beginning from the Garden of Eden will eventually end in the Golgotha, and the resting place will not be in the clouds. The sanctuary is breached and humanity is reduced to a biogenetic structure, exposed to the possibilities of its extinction like never before.”

— Premjish Achari
Image Courtesy: Modus Operandi III 2022

“It all started with the water-tank perched on top of buildings — an iconic, monumental deity — a lifeline for the city’s residents. However, an article in the Indian Express brought to my notice that one of the sources of water for Mumbai is the upper Vaitarna dam in Nashik district, 120 km away. The irony is that in the summer months, in the tribal settlements less than 2 km from the dam, women have to rappel down 60 feet-deep dry wells using flimsy ropes, to get drinking water for their families. In some villages of Maharashtra, men marry several wives with one intention only — to fetch water for the household. Known as ‘Paani Bais’, the women live cordially together. Water-guzzling crops like sugar cane are grown by political bigwigs in drought-prone areas where farmer suicides are rampant. Add to this the fact that village ponds and wells are prohibited for ‘untouchable’ communities, even while being open for animals. Water, construction, injustice, and urban-rural inequality, loosely form the backdrop to this body of work.”

— Meera Devidayal
Image Courtesy: Modus Operandi III 2022

“This series, a set of water colours embellished with incandescent threads and natural seed pearls on metallic woven fabric (gota), is a tribute to all the jugnis — rebels. Subverting the language of Russian embroidered icons of the Madonna, these embroideries play on the language of veneration to instead draw attention to women’s agency. These works seek to emphasise that women are active agents of political and social change and that they hold up more than half of the sky.”

— - Varunika Saraf

The exhibition continues to be on display till 10th September 2022, from Monday to Saturday — 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The gallery is shut on Sundays and public holidays.

Find more information about Modus Operandi III here.

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