13 June - 31 August 2019
With Mustafa Khanbhai, Priyanka D’Souza and Waylon James D’Souza
Curated by Adwait Singh
‘Mutarerium’ is a portmanteau derived from the Latin verb 'mutare' meaning to change or exchange, and terrarium, an independent glass unit for growing plants. As such it connotes the imagery of our planet as a mutating terrarium, or at the very least, a closed system within which life is mutating in perceptible and imperceptible ways. Seen against the backdrop of the Sixth extinction or Anthropocene extinction, where we stand to lose up to 50% – 95% of our biodiversity, the darkly glowing orb that is our planet appears to be in a state of suspended animation. In all probability, life would, as it has before, find a way in spite of human intervention, but the critical question is would it be life as we know it? Can we get used to the new way of living and would this living be so much living as languishing? Would there be a ‘we’ to pose that question from? Both dystopian and cautionary in intent, the project proffers alternative pathways, non-linear models of growth that are tentacular and symbiotic, as derived from fellow critters who predate our existence on the planet and profess better promise of riding out the ecological turbulence ahead.
What unites the artists in this exhibition is their interdisciplinary research-driven approach at extrapolating more-than-human evolutionary strands – be it of whales, dolphins, lizards or strangler figs – that nonetheless convey the weight of human-wrought devastation as well as the urgency of holistic, de-centred environmental action and policy making.
This Curatorial Lab and exhibition has been supported by Inlaks India Foundation, RRO and Kamalnayan Bajaj Art Gallery and Hall
Adwait Singh is an independent curator and theorist based out of New Delhi. His work as scholar-curator frequently weaves in and out of areas of inquiry such as subjectivity formation, gender and sexuality, posthumanism, contemporary technogenesis and ecofeminism. Shortly after completing his Master's at Goldsmiths, he seized the opportunity to be a part of the Students' Biennale 2016 and has since facilitated different art projects and workshops for/with young artistic practitioners across the country for various non-profit organisations. Recent curations include 'Caressing History' – a group show investigating the possibility of a body-based historiography for Prameya Art Foundation (New Delhi, 2018). As an art writer Adwait has been devoting time theorising and documenting independent exhibitions and alternative art practices.
Mustafa Khanbhai is a visual artist based in New Delhi. He completed his Bachelors in Visual Art at MS University Baroda in 2015 and his Masters in Visual Art at Ambedkar University Delhi in 2018. He works primarily in digital and sculptural media, particularly 3D animation. His research-intensive work is concerned with vestiges and reminders from periods of cataclysmic change in both human and natural history. He has exhibited in galleries, festivals, and various pop-up spaces across India.
Mumbai-based artist Priyanka D’Souza, has graduated from the Painting department, M. S. University of Baroda in 2017. She is a recipient of the Nasreen Mohamedi and Kalpana Reddy award from her alma mater. She is also a fellow at the Dara Shikoh Fellowship, Srinagar and has participated in the Ladakh Bird Festival organized by Ladakh Arts and Media Organisation (LAMO) in collaboration with the Dara Shikoh Center in Leh (2018). She has trained in miniature painting under Aisha Khalid on a grant at the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts, Salzburg. She has shown her work in various group shows in Delhi and India Art Fair with Latitude 28.
Waylon James D’Souza
Waylon James D’Souza is a Goa-based artist and designer with a research-driven practice. He collates principles of education, philosophy and culture to iterate pan-disciplinary experiments in sustainability science. His creations advance environmental solutions through materially symbolic and visually compelling works. Waylon is trained in a matrix of symbiotic disciplines including fine arts, animation, aquaponics, permaculture as well as industrial design. The core tenets of restorative balance and interconnectivity manifest inventively in his diverse canon of work. The artist dextrously mobilises versatile materials, technical study and tactical hacks to create multi-media art including in-situ installations, bio-remedial products, performance pieces and works on paper. Each composition highlights crises in the ecological paradigm while offering original possibilities for social and scientific remediation.