Immateriality in Residue: Experimenter – Hindustan Road

9 November - 26 December 2015

Experimenter presents Immateriality in Residue, an exhibition featuring the work of Ayesha Sultana, Gyan Panchal, Prabhakar Pachpute & Sanchayan Ghosh that explores ideas of form, material and value in its intrinsic form and residual afterlife.

Ayesha Sultana’s practice over the last few years attempts to push the boundaries of perception and that of our understanding of architectural form and landscape and what is outside the field of view. It has also been rooted at the point where the built and the natural converge, using mediums such as paper, graphite rubbings, splicing and folding form into creating tessellations of shapes. Furthering her inquisition, a new body of work has taken shape where her interest in the duality and coexistence of material and the immaterial take precedence.

Using assemblages and gestural interventions with various materials such as timber, metal and cloth, she creates installations that project a certain restrained equilibrium. Mostly consisting of arrangements, in a measured precise way, these installations seem to assume their own functional relevance in their arranged form, but are not entirely without value in their dysfunctional state. As acts of gestures in the installations, a residual value and ephemeral understanding of matter is perceptible. In a series of minimal watercolors on paper, Sultana contemplates on ideas of form, space and distance.

Prabhakar Pachpute’s interests also lie in the landscape, but unlike Sultana, not necessarily in the form that landscape offers but in the politics of land and its marginal inhabitants. Deeply engaged in working with and narrating experiences of mine workers and populations affected by mining across the world, Pachpute uses drawing, sculpture and video in his work. He finds purpose in what is left behind in the deep gorges of the land after years of relentless excavation, rendering it unlivable and non-cultivable. Through the narratives that entwine histories of the land with people who live there, Pachpute creates a certain value in its afterlife and explores the imbalances we create in our never-ending quest for earth’s resources. His work confronts the viewer with these narratives, often brutal, but also one that proposes future possibilities in the residue of the landscape and that of its occupants.

Paris-based sculptor Gyan Panchal’s robust practice in creating interventions through a refined and mature handling of material and form, through sculptural installation, are usually subtle and nuanced. Keeping the raw material that he decides to work with at the center of his practice, he excavates residual values in existing objects than shaping them into new forms. His sculptures often use materials such as cloth, discarded granite, barks of trees, recycled plastic, bamboo and materials that have a distinct and intrinsic identity of their own. At the exhibition, Panchal presents a pair of sculptures using marble and ink, materials that have industrial applications and are at the same time rooted to organic origins. Panchal tends to the unique physical demands of his chosen objects, calling into question their contexts and proposing specific new narratives and possible alternative identities.

Sanchayan Ghosh has been working over the last few years with a particular China clay open-mine in Kharia village near Santiniketan where he has been intervening with the local community in understanding the politics of the land, the reapplication of purposes of the mineral they mine from their own lands. Set up as part of the ambitious Nehruvian development plan, the Patel Nagar Minerals and Industries Ltd was established in 1955 to serve a wide range of industrial applications. However, with the diminishing significance of the economy of the region, the mine and its ancillary units ceased to serve the purpose it was built for and instead the local population found new applications of the material in ritualistic and domestic uses. Ghosh will present a part of his research and exploration, an ongoing project with the mine and the tribes that live bordering it and delve into locally developed physical forms of the china clay. Juxtaposing the forms with notes and a layered wall application of the china clay, the installation provides an insight into a complex relationship between land, its form and purposes, its people who inhabit it and its material manifestations.

Approaching ideas of value, transience and purpose from diverse practices that employ sculpture, drawing, installation and assemblage, Sultana, Pachpute, Panchal & Ghosh comment on how the ‘immaterial’ in material pose new possibilities in recognizing inherent residual facets and wring out a precious visual balance that is usually concealed in their original forms.