A MATTER OF MATERIALS

25, Aug 2022 to 25, Sep 2022     Online Viewing Room    

The curatorial idea of this exhibition initially started with an interest in working with materials and material engagement in artistic methodologies in order to formulate a sense of layered curatorial proposition with larger ontological values. The attempt was to bring different artistic approaches together to re-imagine the notion of regionality, a sense of the vernacular, and how, through the lens of such ideas, practices and process can be approached to unfold different levels of cultural and social paradigms. 

Thus, exhibition focuses on the idea of ‘material-culture’ as an epistemological phenomena. The genre of ‘material culture’ as a form of historical inquiry predominantly centres around the history of objects. It is ‘objects’ through which history can be accessed in the present. Material culture majorly refers to the dichotomy between the past and present as well as the constantly oscillating momentum between them. Thus, the value that is attached to and generated from these objects through different stretches of time becomes a point of departure to think-through further production of knowledge in the realm of curatorial practice. In this entire process, what is also very interesting is the way one can access various cultural practices with material culture not only as a theoretical tool but also as a space which is being lived and experienced. 

‘A Matter of Materials’ is a reflection of accumulated concerns on materiality where ‘making’ as a form of labour and subjectivity can unfold values as extensions of the (artistic) self, attached to both tangible and intangible events. As strategies of making, they can foreground a meta-material discourse to find connections with historicity, labour, politics, site, regionality and meaning-making. 

There has always been a purpose to creating art regardless of the form it takes - as an object, a fragment from the past or freshly created in today’s studios. In many ways, the idea of this curatorial exhibition is to expand the relationship of time and care through both personal and interpersonal affectedness. The process then expands the space to open a sense of tactility and granularity to access propositional values in order to generate common grounds for an associated affectedness. Furthermore, the attempt is to create a special space where one can, both artistically and materially, analyse the transition between the small-scale events to its effects on larger expanded fields, relational subjectivities which potentially is directly proportionate to associated meaning making and importance. The idea of the exhibition, ‘A Matter of Materials', not only brings forth a wide range of material negotiation as a form of artistic choice but also highlights various microscopic and incidental approaches as a key to generate a layered understanding of materials, while keeping subjectivity at the core and questioning how the materiality can be a way to negotiate the world one inhabits, the world one reaches out to and the world one creates. 

Monica Jain