An exhibition and artist residency, Our Sorrows will turn into Actions that foresaw different phases of development between research and activation of the Bungalow space. Integrated into the installation was lecture-performances and moments of convivial exchange focusing primarily on understanding food, objects, and human bodies as sites of social disobedience. In his exhibition at ChertLüdde’s ‘Bungalow’, Arijit takes references from Bahurupi and Purulia Chau traditions to imagine dresses that can be transformed into protest props. Both the dresses are designed such that banners may be hidden inside of the folds, able to be made visible in times of protest. The multipurpose of a
dress and a person’s identity can be directly linked with the Bahurupi tradition, in the idea that if we concede that clothing and its differences define a person’s identity, a person of humble status, with a change of clothing, can become a fearsome demon. Clothing is accompanied by face masks that are meant to hide the identity of the protesters and can also be used as a tool to appear fearful towards opposing power structures such as the state authorities.
Both of these dresses are made from Khadi, the hand-spun and woven natural fiber cloth used in 1918 by Mahatma Gandhi during the freedom struggle of the Indian subcontinent, to express the urgency of independence (mostly in a socio-economic expression) of India from British rule. The dresses are embroidered with motifs, texts, drawings, and political symbols that express the diverse cultural axioms which speak to the artist.
An integral part of the exhibition was a series of lectures and cooking sections that expand on the thematics above.
One first side-event will take place on August 15th, as part of the program organized by Berlin-based magazine Arts of the Working Class, whose current issue “Souls for Food” investigates mechanisms of social subjugation through the distribution, production, and consumption of food. On this day, which also marks the anniversary of India’s independence from the United Kingdom – the artist cooked for the audience a Beef Kaleji (beef liver curry) and rice. This engagement with food asks a very simple question, “How political is our curry?” through interactions with the audiences. In this session, he was deeply also engaged with the right-wing violence associated with the consumption of Beef in India. In this event, he had served 70 dishes Beef Kaleji and rice.
Another point of exchange had occurred on the occasion of the program Mies in Mind, a parcour exhibition organized by Index Berlin in collaboration with the Neue Nationalgalerie, which after several years officially reopens its doors in Berlin.
For this occasion, Arijit presented the public with a lecture titled Brutally Bungalow, exploring the connection between the South Asian origin of the word “Bungalow” and its associations with local Bengali architecture, and its violent transport to the Western world resulting in its extreme influence in modernist architecture.
The dresses and the masks are physically realized with the help of Binita Limbani, Ashish Sutradhar, Soumik Ghosh, Shibayan Halder, Balaram Kolay, Suvojit Roy and Debasish Hazra. Images were taken by Miguel Buenrostro and Andrea Rossetti.