September    2020

Dubai exhibition features Asian art exploring earth's memory

New Delhi, Sep 8

'We, as society remember, but the earth too remembers. Its each fragment remembers, the trees and soil remember.' Building on this premise, and presenting art as a site to unravel a planet's memory, a group exhibition featuring South Asian artists is all set to open in the Gulf.

The exhibition's title 'Every Soiled Page' draws inspiration from Faiz Ahmed Faiz's poem 'Memory' that was written in 1953 while he was imprisoned in the Montgomery Central Jail in Pakistan. Taking cue from the poem, the exhibition proposes art as a site for reverse archaeology, where materials, voices, inscriptions and testimonies produce a field of resonance for bearing witness and remembering as an act of resistance.

Faiz's verses powerfully invoke that to remember we must apprehend every soiled page, listen to the reverberations collectively, even sing with them the songs that rise with each day.

"What if there are other ways of bearing witness and reading what's inscribed on every soiled page?" asks the exhibition.

It opens at the Dubai-based Ishara Art Foundation, the first permanent space in the Gulf dedicated to South Asian art, later this month.

The exhibition is curated by Sabih Ahmed and features works from the Prabhakar Collection by artists Anju Dodiya, Astha Butail, Neha Choksi, Praneet Soi and Sunil Padwal, and a newly commissioned performance installation by Inder Salim that will expand the exhibition into aspace of readings, recitals, inscriptions and annotations. Works in the exhibition focus on different surfaces and materials on which memories, traces, imprints and songs reside.

'Every Soiled Page' is the Foundation's fourth exhibition dedicated to exploring ways in which art expands our sensitivities to witnessing and forming collective memories. Taking an etching of an olive tree by artist Praneet Soi as a point of departure, the exhibition ventures into the the planetary dimensions of remembering, beyond the human.






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