Part Narratives @ Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai

August 15, 2017

 

Mumbai: The Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museumis currently showing Part Narratives curated by Gayatri Sinha. The exhibition, which previewed on August13will be on view till September 19, 2017. Participating artists in this show are Anita Dube, Annu Palakunnathu Mathew, Arpita Singh, Atul Bhalla, Chittoprasad Bhattacharya, Gigi Scaria, K.M. Madhusudhanan, Krishen Khanna, Nandita Raman, Nandalal Bose, S.L. Parasher, Sheba Chhachhi, Somnath Hore, Sonia Khurana, Susanta Mandal and Zainul Abedin.

The exhibition is a tribute to India's 70th year of Independence. The artists represented have produced work that draws upon their memories and understanding of partition and is in the nature of a lament for the lives lost and the enormous trauma that was experienced by everyone. Part Narrative conveys the residue of loss and pain through the haze of memory.

As a subject of engagement Partition has generated painting, photography, drawings, sculpture, cinema, theatre, television productions and a multiplicity of textual writing on this major cataclysm in Indian history. It was a highly productive site in art and cinema, television, fiction and biography. It fostered artist movements like Delhi Shilpi Chakra, and influenced gender reforms, and other concerns of the new nation. Seen decades later, as a historic imperative it becomes subsumed in the larger history of forced migratory flows in different parts of the world.

Curator Gayatri Sinha writes: “In 2017, the Partition of India is marked by its 70th anniversary. Drawing on the readings of departure and partial histories, the exhibition Part Narratives commemorates this event, and brings the art production that surrounded it within museum and art discourse. At the same time it turns our attention to issues of migration as they beset the world at present, to the long shadow of Partition and its passage through time.

As a subject of engagement Partition has generated painting, photography, drawings, sculpture, cinema, theatre, television productions and a multiplicity of oral testimonies textual writing on this major cataclysm in Indian history. Partition as a subject has persisted and leaked through the decades, extending from the eye witness sketches of the artist as diarist in the 1940s, to the conceptually universal art works of the present time. Over this period, the issues around Partition have been problematized and gained relevance beyond the actual event. As a discontinuous but distinct body of work, Partition as a subject is remarkable in its outpouring of a response that persisted, despite the absence of institutional support.

The exhibition draws on three principal timelines of art produced around the event: art as testimonial, which comprises the artists' eye witness accounts of the event of the 1940s and 50s, art as residue in the decades of the 60's to the 80's, and finally the event as historic imperative that invites reflection and understanding even seven decades later.”