May 20, 2024

Endangered Spaces, A collaborative photographic exhibition

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], May 9: The ‘Endangered Spaces’ exhibition puts together works from the Zeitgeist’ series by Hélène Guétary from Paris, France, and Kushti: The Lost Children of Post modernism by Jayesh Sharma, India, along with a joint collaborative video work conceptualised by both artists. The exhibition is scheduled to run until May 31st, 2024, inviting visitors to explore these artworks between 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Nine Fish Art Gallery, Byculla, Mumbai.

The world stands in a rather ambiguous and vacillating space today, torn between the relentless spate of globalisation with dreams of incorporating all people into a singular universal society and the tenacious and persistent undertow of a slew of diversely lived memories of traditions that do not seem to let go. Paradoxically, the very forces of globalisation that have made possible the collaboration of our two artists are what both artists are questioning and cross examining. Intensely aware of this irony, both are interested in the acuity of the landscapes of loss and longing, which seem to have become an enduring feature of modernity.

Hélène Guétary’s ‘Zeitgeist’ is a call for attention to the fragility of our world. Fleeting guardians of natural sites or of man-made environments representing culture and history, they whisper to the viewer to remain aware of how precious our world and our values are. The Zeitgeist appears in places that convey beauty but also need our protection. Their presence, sometimes enigmatic, sometimes spectacular, reminds us what these places mean, contain, or allow.  Helene started these series in between lockdowns. Since then, this series has been shot around the planet, in France, Italy, Sicily, Greece, Spain, the Caribbean islands, the California deserts, and then in India too.

Kushti – The lost children of post modernism, are the fulcrum on which Jayesh Sharma’s search for the dying and lost is leveraged. The changes within the sport personify, for him, the larger global changes swirling all around us. To see years of traditional upbringing and ritualistic disciplines of the ‘pahalwans’ finding less and less meaning within the newer constructs of modernism is a challenging and sad process for Jayesh. In the almost monastic and closed lives led in these Kushti ‘akharas’, it is near impossible for outsiders to enter and engage deeply. Perhaps Jayesh’s own emotive state has made his entry to these spaces acceptable to the wrestling community, allowing him to photograph them intimately and to present this cloistered world to us.

Having encountered each other two years ago, both artists were struck by the common themes of their projects and decided to create a collaborative video installation. They decided to maintain the integrity of the forms and symbols of their own work but forge a new piece to escalate their ideas.

Curator: Dr. Anurag Kanoria

Venue: Nine Fish Art Gallery, Byculla, Mumbai

Exhibition Dates: Till 31st May 2024

Time: 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

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