Experimenter at On | Site: Bikaner House, New Delhi

3 - 9 March 2021

On | Site is a collaborative project organised by four Indian galleries at Bikaner House, New Delhi, which will take place between 3 – 9 March 2021 and is presented jointly by Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai; Experimenter, Kolkata; Nature Morte, New Delhi and Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi.

Do You Know How to Start A Fire

Experimenter presents Do You Know How to Start A Fire, a group exhibition of intergenerational women artists featuring works by Ayesha Sultana (b. 1984, Bangladesh), Biraaj Dodiya (b. 1993, India), Radhika Khimji (b. 1979, Oman) and Reba Hore (1926-2009, India) that rests itself on transient instances of deep personal reference, that are often realized in the seclusion of their own studios, usually inhabited by experiments, possibilities, erasures and experiences that shape their work.

Do You Know How to Start A Fire offers an insight into a world of paradoxes, interwoven equally in environments of silence, sensorial stimuli and nebulous ideas through the work of the four artists on view. While Ayesha Sultana explores spatial encounters and movement in a measurement of space between things, Biraaj Dodiya and Radhika Khimji unravel a practice rooted in navigating nocturnal landscapes, uncertainties and distance constantly playing with form through acts of abrasion or resistance. Juxtaposed alongside, is the practice of the late Reba Hore, whose paintings emanate fervent, frantic lines of colours making form, figure and landscape indiscernible, and underscoring a form of erasure. An expressionistic, powerful practice points at a confident embodiment of motion, revealing a singular gaze from the interiority of an entangled knot of experiences.


Lone Runner's Laboratory, Prabhakar Pachpute

Prabhakar Pachpute presents a solo project, Lone Runner's Laboratory. Through a new series of oil paintings, Pachpute continues his inquiry about exploitation of land and mineral resources in which he imagines the future of a post-mined and postindustrial landscape. He uses personal experiences, research and folklore, represented by characters in his paintings, drawings, animations and sculptures, that confront, subvert, or even succumb to the pressures of economy and capital on land. His works on view propose as much a state of disarray as they indicate a chance of optimism. A precarious visual equilibrium emerges to indicate a time that is at the precipice of change. Pachpute proposes a possible afterlife of objects and people who inhabit the landscape today, where an alternate legacy exists or even calls to action for revolution.


Jole Dobe Na (Those Who Do Not Drown), Naeem Mohaiemen


Jole Dobe Na (Those Who Do Not Drown), a film by Naeem Mohaiemen premieres in India at the Delhi exhibition. The film was conceived in response to a prompt given by Raqs Media Collective (for Yokohama Triennial 2020) to think about the afterlife of caregivers. In an empty hospital in Kolkata, a man faces protocols of blood, a subtly discriminatory office, and a vacant operating theater. His mind is on a loop of the last months of his wife’s life, when a quiet argument developed. When is the end of pharma-medical care, whose life is it anyway? They were an estranged couple, thrown back into intimacy by an unknown illness. Even in a dreamworld of his making, the paranoia of infection is twinned with a hesitant intimacy.


The film revisits themes from the earlier Tripoli Cancelled (2017)–family unit as locus for pain-beauty dyads, abandoned buildings as staging ground for lost souls, and the necessity of small prevarications to keep on living. In Tripoli, the boredom of daily life is punctuated by letters to an invisible wife, and endless readings of Richard Adams’ dark children’s book Watership Down. In Jole, a memory of final days is kept alive by the partner, and the book readings are from Syed Mujtaba Ali’s stories of Europe between the two wars.⁣


Drawing Salon

A fertile ground for experimentation and testing the boundaries of thought, drawing is often the initial scaffolding on which practices rely as a point of departure. Drawing is traditionally viewed as markings, notations and sketches, on paper or personal diaries, however the influence of drawing and its scope presented in the salon by Chemould Prescott Road, Experimenter, Nature Morte and Vadehra Art Gallery, goes well beyond the physical act of drawing and explores the medium as thought, as form and as practice.

Experimenter presents a group exhibition with works by Ayesha Sultana, Julien Segard, Reba Hore, Rathin Barman and Prabhakar Pachpute at the Drawing Salon.