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Exhibition explores mankind's 'uneasy' relationship with animal world

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 16-11-2019 16:34 IST | Created: 16-11-2019 16:34 IST
Exhibition explores mankind's 'uneasy' relationship with animal world

With over 150 art works by 40 artists including Jamini Roy Manjunath Kamath, M F Husain and Rabindranath Tagore, an ongoing exhibition here is exploring the "uneasy relationship" of the mankind with the animal world. Titled "Sightings: Out of the Wild", the show underway at the Kiran Nadar Museun of Art here, has been curated by art critic and museum director Roobina Karode.

"The exhibition highlights an existential void and our increasingly uneasy relationship with the natural/animal world," Karode said. Within the exhibition space is housed a panther in its flamboyant pink body seemingly ready to leap at its prey, and an elephant is taking a poop in a corner.

Kher's bindi-covered panther and L N Tallur's burnt wood elephant, alongside Karon Knorr's photograph of a startled cheetah within a palatial interior present conflicting narratives. "Is this a forced migration, loss of natural habitat or an accidental detour?" Karode seems to be asking, as the art works in the show hint at the fissures, the trauma of encroachment, human neglect, signs of extinction, resistance and the reverse gaze of the other living worlds.

"I was driven by the exigency of the theme than looking for a specific period or form in the making of this exhibition. "Our relationship with the wild is distraught and there is an urgent need to find ways of connecting and comprehending nature and the animal world," Karode said.

While Vasudev Akkitham's paintings express his concerns about the disorientation faced by animals in a world dominated and controlled by humans, and Jayashree Chakravarty's "Cocoon" shows how insects gravitate and come together for safety, Manisha Gera Baswani’s installation uses feathers collected as traces left behind by birds disappearing from our congested and polluted cities. To highlight the mankind's relationship with the mankind world, the show presents fables and allegories of the animal world that appear in human-centric tales and imagination, told and reflected through playful and critical contestations staged between human and other species.

"Animals bring back to memory the stuff of childhood, the beauty of their form and texture, their capability to connect and respond to love and care and the desire to draw and shape them in material. In a splintered world there is a need to seek renewal, contact and oneness with nature," said Karode. Other participating artists include Ashim Purkayastha, C. Douglas, GR Iranna, Gigi Scaria, Himmat Shah, Jitish Kallat, KG Subramanyan, Madhvi Parekh, Mithu Sen, Prabhakar Pachpute, Ram Rahman, Sonia Khurana, and Tapas Sarkar.

The show is set to continue till December 26.


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