December 13th, 2019 - January 16th, 2020
The presentation of the exhibition Ayalkaar is hinged upon the idea of preciousness – of friendships where human connect is the touchstone of relevance. Ankush Safaya, Kim Kyoungae, N. Divya, Sachin Karne and Sonatina Mendes are connected through friendships that are significant to their lives as art practitioners. The Collective Studio Baroda has been the hub at which all these relationships have taken root – around a groaning dining table laden with food, over cups of endless chai and coffee, whilst watching films together and amidst the clamour of passionate voices that hold the conviction of shared beliefs. The studios of each of these artists are congregating points where conversations take place regularly, and where vulnerabilities are palpable and respect is shared. For these five artists the most valued connection is the discussions that originate which act as catalysts to stimulate and prompt introspection and further enquiry within their work. My attempt is to avoid the trappings of curatorial impingement through imposed thematic content – and to instead allow the nuanced connectives that exist to be read through the way each artist’s work plays off the other. The works presented reflect the core of their individual preoccupations and showcase the strength of their identities as artists, yet all the while being linked together within narratives of contemporary socio-political belonging that playout as we live.
The title of the show Ayalkaar is a Malayalam word, which means neighbours.
In the political climate of today where diversity isn’t necessarily viewed as servicing purpose within the prevailing majoritarian stake-old that grips India today, this simple act of compiling five seemingly disparate artists and yet fleshing the connections that in fact hold them in harmony with one another, becomes the focus that is addressed in this exhibition.