From Chemould Prescott Road, we present Stalking Art, a series about pairing and conversing with art thinkers and makers on how they ponder. Through each episode we will bring together unique pairings of our artists and minds in our surrounding art world as they give us a glimpse into their perceptions on all things art.
We, The People in conversation with Kabir Jhala and Varunika Saraf
Varunika Saraf’s recent solo exhibition at Chemould Prescott Road that features deeply political works are a reference, subversion and perhaps even a hijacking of complex and ever-changing processes that we call tradition. In conversation with Varunika in this episode is writer and Associate Editor at The Art Newspaper Kabir Jhala. Referencing Saraf’s practice through the episode, Jhala enquires about her experiences and influences as the pair speak about the ethics of presenting violence, self-censorship, exclusionary politics, historical archives, surveillance and society slowly moving towards erasure of the past. The pair delve into the role images have continually had in the understanding of politics and violence as well as Saraf’s historical references and investigations of Tradition.
Check out the exhibition's Online Viewing Room here.
Return of the Phantom Lady - Pushpamala N and Shireen Gandhy
Chemould’s Director, Shireen Gandhy and artist Pushpamala N share a relationship that goes long before Gandhy became a gallerist.
In this episode, the pair speak about how S H Raza referred Pushpamala to Chemould introducing to the gallery an artist that emerged very distinctly as a sculptor, even making her mark as one, to eventually evolving into a photo-performance artist who was ready to push her work into other kinds of making.
Through the conversation, Pushpamala recalls the many influences and events in her life that have moulded her art-making practice into what it is today - from the Bombay riots, her early understanding of feminism, to politics finding a way to enter her work.
Formerly married to an eminent film theorist and being surrounded by cinema buffs to being captivated by Photo Romance and Film Noir, recreating movie scenes and characters: from ‘Fearless Nadia’, to exploring the vulnerability of the female heroine, Pushpamala and Gandhy talk about it all.
So It Goes: with Yardena Kurulkar and Dr. Gita Chadha
Introduced during Yardena Kurulkar’s exhibition So It Goes at Chemould Prescott Road when asked to write for it, Dr. Gita Chadha found in Yardena’s work a placeholder for her grief after loosing a dear friend not long ago. In this episode, the pair excavate the idea of death, grief, uncertainty and recalling memories as Yardena opens up about her heritage - growing up in a religious Bene Israeli family, the death of her father, the odd-jobs she’s worked as well as the female body - the recollection of which continues to impact and appear quite evocatively in her art practice. They go on to talk of memories as a site that not only contain personal history but also history of a community and also speak about what post-pandemic art will look like.
Internal Correspondences - Aditi Singh and Anurag Khanna
What started off as an exchange between artist Aditi Singh and collector Anurag Khanna on Aditi’s work, has over the past year or so evolved into an unceasing exchange between the two on art, poetry and literature. Through this episode, Aditi and Anurag speak of their thoughts, touching upon their shared love of poetry, spirituality, music, nature and most of all drawing and art. Aditi speaks movingly about deep friendships she shared with artists like Zarina Hashmi and Gieve Patel. This episode is a profound half hour of listening between a deeply engaged art collector who is able to bring out the internal world of an artist in the best possible way.
Gateway to Ghatkopar: with Atul Dodiya and Kaiwan Mehta
If there is one thing Atul Dodiya and Kaiwan Mehta share, it is a deep understanding and engagement with the city of Bombay. In this episode moderated by Mehta, the pair speak about being alive to the urban space, museums, cinema, literature and people while reading these moments through the sense of time. Dodiya speaks of his attachment to an area that he has always lived in, Ghatkopar and being possessed with the idea of being a painter very early on, constantly being influenced by cinema, music, poetry, the Gujrati language and of course, Gandhi. From his Chawl to the Louvre, from Chabildas to Picasso, from Gandhi to Hitchock and from his Home to the World, Dodiya speaks of the idea of creating his own universe while painting, a narrative constantly shifting depending on where he wants to centre himself, ultimately feeling like he belongs everywhere and to everyone.
Remembering Mehlli with Jerry Pinto
Through August 2021, Chemould is exhibiting a retrospective of one of India’s most special artists, Mehlli Gobhai. In this episode with Jerry Pinto, we talk about the incredible life lived by Mehlli, as Jerry, one of his closest friends, also became primary caregiver toward the end of his life. Jerry recalls how Gobhai, recallling him as “a work of art himself”, began to see art, his process of making art, using colour and his ability to make him challenge art’s very definition. Through remembering Gobhai, filled with anecdotes Jerry candidly speaks of how Mehlli did not care for the art market or critics but cared deeply of how his work did its unsuspected magic on the person who went to it and confronted it.