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Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg opens exhibition featuring six women artists from India
Installation view of "Facing India“ at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg. Photo: Marek Kruszewski.


WOLFSBURG.- How do Indian women artists use their voice today? How do they deal with their social responsibility? What language do they find for that which remains unsaid? The Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg is presenting the first exhibition in Germany featuring six women artists from India. Aside from a few exceptions, such as the state of Kerala in the south of the country, India is characterized by a patriarchal society. The assumption that women are of less value than men is deeply anchored in Indian mentality. “Facing India” pursues the question about how the country’s past, present, and future are represented from a female perspective.

A fourteen-meter long map of the world made from barbwire-like electric cables, an accessible installation consisting of oppressive black bricks made of glass, a photograph of a refrigerator within which escalators lead to nowhere, a bizarre sculpture with teeth, a film in which a white sheet is subdued like a wild animal in a river: Vibha Galhotra (*1978), Bharti Kher (*1969), Prajakta Potnis (*1980), Reena Saini Kallat (*1973), Mithu Sen (*1971) and Tejal Shah (*1979) use their multimedia works as locations of social reflection, calling attention to historical and current border disputes. Poetical, metaphorical and noiseless, as well as radical, direct and loud, they call all manners of borders into question—whether they are political, territorial, ecological, religious, social, personal, or gender boundaries. Their history, visibility or invisibility, their legitimacy and frequent dissolution are the unifying theme of the exhibition’s broad spectrum of works.

The exhibition focuses on six positions in order to present these more comprehensively. Socialized and educated in an increasingly globalized world, these women artists no longer limit their “border controls” solely to India, but rather reach out into other countries and continents. The state, society, and the individual, as well as questions regarding identity and the environment, are critically examined. Nevertheless, as broad as their range of topics may be, explicit and implicit references to the presence of the feminine and the position of women, as well as solidarity and empathy, are recurring themes throughout the exhibition.

“Facing India” was developed out of a continuing dialog with the artists and reflects a kind of collective plea for communication and the notion of unity in diversity beyond pigeonhole thinking and caste mentality. The exhibition architecture incorporates these ideas. Each of the six artists has her own separate exhibition space, which are arranged to provide clear visual relations to each other. The center of the exhibition is an open communication forum, which allows the visitor a view in all directions—both literally and metaphorically.





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