- Interact With Art
18th September 2014
Speaker: Atul Dodiya and Ashim Purkayastha
In this conversation around the exhibition 'Is it What You Think? (Ruminations on Time, Memory & Site)', Atul Dodiya and Ashim Purkayastha talked about aspects of particular works and the techniques used along with sharing personal stories of how certain things came about in their works. Both artists are socially and politically conscious artists and share preoccupations and common concerns about the nation. An example would be their mutual interest in Mahatma Gandhi. However, they spoke about apprehensions of taking Gandhi, a pivotal figure of India, as subject matter, a figure almost omnipresent in the country, and how the viewers and art lovers would react to such works. They talked about how the state of the nation influenced their art practice after witnessing political uprising in the country, alongside personal experiences- for Dodiya, the 1993 Mumbai riots and for Purkayastha, the communal riots in Assam. These experiences were vital in the formation of their art. The ugly side of humanity ensuing violence got the artists out of their comfort zone, in order to pursue ideas beyond what was being projected in the art scene at the time.