11 August 2020 12:42 PM

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SARAH AHMAD | 1 AUGUST, 2020

The Art of Being In Touch

Order and change


Yesterday I was doing or making something like a little scribble, a doodle, a non-planetary thought bubble—cream cheese, peach puree, the bed, washing clothes, fixing my website, sweeping the kitchen counter, stirring coffee in a cup, pouring batter in a pan, heating mustard seeds—thinking, singing a non sensical song that I had heard on a social media endorsement, scrolling on the phone, watching a ‘dark’ show, calculating the days and minutes in July, reading the news, re-reading the news, reading something else, being disappointed, being happy, being thoughtless, anxious.

It suddenly occurred to me that five months have just gone by, while doing those things we were doing ‘yesterday’. And we hope that in all the time we have spent being patient, yet grateful for all the people we have in our lives—in that exact amount of time again, we will be free of this disease, things will work, and we all will be free to move, to do those things we constantly took for granted.

For us everything has moved online, from buying groceries and medicines to a pair of shoes, or even taking a few yoga classes or an art workshop, or watching a favourite new movie. Amid the pandemic the online world has become an industry in itself, a parcel of relief for those in a world which we think is unsafe for venturing out.

This world which has severely been bruised is on the lookout for some healing, and healing also finds its way to us in various forms through the online world. For an artist it may come in the form of practising one’s art, and for many others it may come through viewing art, or just being in touch with how art can alter our mood and immerse us in its varying visual dialogues in whatever form – a vivid painting, a piece of music, an organic film or a timeless song.

Visual Art Connoisseurs, Curators, Galleries and Artists have come together to establish an intangible, yet engaging platform to showcase art, instituting an online exhibition that redefines the power of collaboration and solidarity. In Touch (artintouch.in) hosts online virtual exhibitions created in partnership with various galleries. Its collaborative nature makes it unique as it brings together various gallerists, programs, and artists under a single virtual roof.

As the name suggests, In Touch is an effort to be in touch with each other, through organised and synergistic exhibition-making that challenges traditional formats of engaging with art.

The participating galleries are based in India and Dubai, and house works by renowned and emerging artists.

One can view works by Sahel Rahal: drawings and sculptures that engage with creatures and signs emerging from the artist’s own imagination at Chatterjee & Lal, or works by Soumya Sankar Bose at the Experimenter Gallery: black and white photographic works part of the exhibit Let’s Sing An Old Song, which talk about Bose’s relationship with the folk theatre practice of Jatra as a child growing up in Midnapore, West Bengal.

Galleryske presents Dia Mehta Bhupal’s In Spaces of Hope Light Grows, PHOTOINK showcases Dileep Prakash’s Sleeping in the Forest which features British-era houses in Himalayan jungles: black and white images of moonlit forests and bungalows limned by an intense otherworldliness.

Sakshi Gallery brings forth works by Rekha Rodwittiya, curated by Jesal Thacker. Rekha’s work To be Someone Else’s Song embodies the many forms taken by women as well as the constant questioning through continuous cycles of hope and despair, love, lust, birth and death.

Shrine Empire brings a group show titled Intersections, representing artists Parul Gupta, Tayeba Begum Lipi, Anoli Perera, Samanta Batra Mehta, Omer Wasim, Sara Sheikh and Sangita Maity.

In Touch will also hold collateral online programmes including gallerist connects and artists talks through September 2020.

One can view art works, get in touch with the galleries or purchase art through this exhibition, this new stage for contemporary art, creating a niche for artists, yet keeping the artist-gallery-buyer workings and commercial practices in order.

As the world grapples with change, the creative world has also adapted itself to this new way of life. Artists have long worked from home, but their work has always been shown or performed among large audiences and spaces—today, fortunately, digital platforms have come to the rescue to provide a cure and space for artists and art.

From physical gallery spaces to virtual spaces, art has moved into different dimensions but it is still purely defined by a classic reality of how one perceives life through visuals—only been transported from a concrete, sometimes a larger than life entity to a quieter, smaller story on the computer wall.

What we have most importantly achieved through these online exhibitions is to slow the pace at which we perceive art: we may now visit the online gallery and take our time, without being in a hurry to get somewhere or someplace else.

We continue to live todays like yesterdays—the skies turn blue, the oil heats up, the seeds crackle, the news becomes louder, the song a faintly lingering music in my mind, yet everyday is so diverse—some days bring hope of rains, and some a gentle breeze of sunshine among the brunette surface of reality.

You can access the ‘In Touch’ online art exhibition platform at ArtInTouch.in

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