The Sundry Effect | 2020
The exhibition “Farmer is Wrestler” pinpoints this very aspect of the farmer’s fate: a life that hangs in limbo. It addresses the urgency of the agrarian crisis faced by farmers in India today. Over the years, generational divisions of land, climate change, vote-bank politics, a lack of implementation of the law, and the general deficit of formal education in rural communities has severely affected the lives and livelihoods of Indian farmers.
Title: Surjeet SinghSurjeet Singh, age 50 has been reporting suicides for 130 villages for the Sangrur district of Punjab. Over the span of 10 years, he has met around 2000 families of the deceased farmers on the day of their deaths to fill out the application for their demise.
Duration: 27 mins
Title: Aftermath – Swaminathan Commission Report – Serving and Saving Farming, Reports on agrarian crisis.
Medium: Fountain Ink on inkjet print
(The residue of installation on paper with pesticide spray machine – 3-sec spray after every 30 mins)
Size: 72 x 120 x 72 inches
3. Title: Quotidian 1Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 84 x 48 x 2.5 inches
The Sundry Effect
the stories we are………….
Curatorial Note by Meena Vari:
Ferdinand De Saussure, ‘sign’ is an arbitrary mark, sound, or gesture that becomes infused with meaning because it is part of a larger, more complex system of other marks or sounds with their own meanings. Stories always have been an integral part of our experience as human beings. From the ancient texts and myths to modern novels in art and even in the ordinary, everyday lives, storytelling has a special status, it impacts human identity- the way we experience life as communities, make sense in general, and more particularly who we are as individuals. In order to make sense of identity, narratives have been woven into the fabric of communities and individual selves too. As Roland Barthes put forward, narrative “is present at all times, in all places, in all societies; indeed narrative starts with the very history of mankind; there is not, there has never been anywhere, any people without narratives; all classes, all human groups have their stories..”Each art of recall is a re-creation’ of the narrative. There is a need to make new narratives. Art has always been linked with storytelling and narratives. Stories are a kind of an armature that gives shape to all kinds of records, engagement with the histories, present, and futures. It can pull in the drama (plots and sub-plots) and the tensions of the environments we are living in today. The artists in the show have expanded the role of narrative frameworks, inserting intricate allegories which are mostly real and sometimes fictional. Using it as a tactical medium, these allegories have emerged as a revelation, assisting the processes of remembering, retrieving, or retelling something which might otherwise not been heard at all. Narratives and imagination cannot be separated; it is integrally tied to one another, that becomes straightaway clear if we just do pause ourselves and think about stories as this connecting agent, it could be real or imagined about the past or untold, or something for the future.
Normally there is a prominent storyline that gets published and becomes the real story to be told and accepted, so many stories remain untold and go missing. Such stories contain silences, gaps, and omissions – sometimes such untold stories are also called ‘Shadow Stories’. It is about the metanarratives that could have fragments of ‘signs’ linking between the time, space, and experiences of our shared histories. The works in the exhibition are such stories that might seem very ordinary and not given any significance historically or in our times today, it can be only kept aside not ignored. Some of these stories have gone missing or have been shelved into the shadows and the artists in the show are highlighting these stories from various contexts and backgrounds.