How to Maneuver: Shape-shifting texts and other publishing tactics | 2020

“Every thirty to forty minutes a farmer commits suicide in India. This installation looks at farmers’ distress and agrarian crisis in Punjab as a running commentary of the current time. The ‘fountain ink’ in the pesticide spray machine sprays ink over reports/ articles/ statistical data associated with the agrarian crisis. Those pleas and policies are still waiting to be heard in the parliament, like a field of reports or investigations waiting to be harvested. Researching at the primary level with the help of a local surveyor, we witnessed that the rate of this crisis is alarming. Some of them had lost all hope, some had rescued themselves, some had taken odd jobs for survival, and others were just waiting for natural deaths. These conversations are important to us, and we are very sensitive to respect this valuable insight into the final outcome of our exhibition. The pulsating spraying of the field of reports develops throughout the duration of the exhibition, representing and narrating the farmers’ ongoing battle of survival against invisible policies and tangible issues.”

Title: Aftermath — Swaminathan Commission Report — Serving and Saving Farming, Reports 1,2,3,4,5 + articles + reports on agrarian crisis
Medium: Inkjet print on paper with pesticide spray machine and wooden boards — 3-sec spray after every 30 mins
Size: 183 × 305 × 183 cm 
Year: 2020

Curatorial Note by Kayfa ta / Maha Maamoun and Ala Younis:-
Publishing is the act of making public. It is not restricted to specific producers, languages of production, sanctified routes of distribution, and privileged readers. However, this is not publishing as we have come to know it. The Arab World is home to a growing number of book fairs and art book fairs. These two types of public platforms run parallel to each other, representing different, if not opposing, economies of cultural capital, systems of representation of subjects and subjectivities, as well as strategies for encountering and conversing with an audience. This exhibition emerged out of a need to question the boundaries separating Publishing from independent publishing, or mainstream from alternative cultural production. The space that separates these different regimes of authorship, publishing, and readership, is also space where these differences can be maneuvered — where limits are creatively questioned and hardened practices lured to speak in different tongues. This is the space that this exhibition inhabits. How to maneuver follows the footsteps of a selection of artistic and publishing practices, and the spaces they seek to create. The works presented to share a rich variety of historical and contemporary reflections on the languages and formats marginalized in the dominant publishing industry — the snubbed genres, the outlawed subjects, the troubling subjectivities, the excessive, the minimal, the unprofitable, and the unfathomable. Through the exhibition, its artworks, publications, and structural interventions, we get a glimpse of some of the cultural spaces and agencies reclaimed through independent artistic and publishing practices.–