Prabhakar Pachpute | Shadows on Arrival: Experimenter – Hindustan Road

4 March - 29 April 2017

Experimenter presents Shadows on Arrival, Prabhakar Pachpute’s second solo at the gallery. Shadows on Arrival follows Pachpute’s continued interest in exploitation of land and mineral resources in which he imagines the future of a post-mined and post-industrial landscape through paintings, sculpture and installation. The exhibition opens on March 4th and will continue until April 29th 2017.

Over the last decade, Pachpute has worked with miners and local inhabitants of mined sites all over the world engaging in durational projects that at times span years, where he revisits these sites and the people inhabiting these lands over generations. His practice explores the social, cultural and political ramifications of large, desolate and uninhabitable tracts of land that seemingly have no residual purpose and appear to him as dead monuments.

The title of the exhibition refers to a postindustrial environment, where Pachpute questions the future of mined land, the relevance of embedded equipment and machinery, once they finish serving their purpose in mining areas – a sight that has repeatedly welcomed him all over the world. Long shadows seem to be cast in the paintings and from small human figures and a series of metamorphosed sculptures made out of found objects that populate the exhibition, through an ingenious interplay of light and shadow almost in a Giorgio de Chirico-esque manner. It seems as if these objects have been animated through their own quest for purpose.

Several characters emerge and reappear throughout his drawings and installations of the uninhabited terrain – that of the headless farmer, the mine manager, the miner, animals of labor and even the owl that stands witness to changing time and the ravaging of nature by man to serve an economic end. His work consistently continues to comment on the socio-economic impact of natural resource exploitation and the afterlife of objects and people who inhabit the landscape.

In Pachpute’s rather surreal paintings, these characters represent different metaphors, stories and evidences. The man with an antenna instead of a head seems to be in search for an elusive dream, the earth-digger has stopped midway as if interrupted by a sudden self realization, farmer’s tools of cultivation and other machines have morphed to form human extensions, the ubiquitous mine manager – headless, pours over a survey map and other items such as a binocular, a wind indicator or a bee-like drone hover in the backdrop of the abandoned land. The characters are potent with metaphor, signaling a sense of loss and lack of purpose.

Shadows on Arrival could be thought of Pachpute’s personal quest to find answers of his own encounter with land and mining challenges in his home in Chandrapur in central India that has seen aggressive open cast mining over decades and an imagination that seeks to empower the inanimate, abandoned and helpless objects and people to enliven their own selves and emerge from the shadows of their past.

Prabhakar Pachpute (b 1986) lives and works in Pune, India. Pachpute first institutional solo in India was held at the National Gallery of Modern Art, (NGMA) Mumbai in 2016. Recent group exhibitions have been held at Bunkier Sztuki, Krakow Poland, 2017; MCAD, Manila 2016; 44 Salon Nacional de Artistas, Colombia 2016; MACBA Barcelona 2015; Sao Paulo Biennale, 2014; Asia Pacific Triennial 2015; Istanbul Biennale 2015; Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial, 2014; Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven, 2013; IFA, Stuttgart, 2013 amongst others.