CheMoulding: Futuring - Part II opens in Mumbai

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CheMoulding: Futuring - Part II opens in Mumbai
CheMoulding: Futuring - Part II. Installation View.

MUMBAI.- CheMoulding creates multiple entry points into six decades of Indian contemporary art. It recognises the art frame ‘moulding’ company and gallery that continues to mould Indian art history and its contemporary present. The continuous suffix ‘ing’ makes Chemould a verb — the act of creating fearless spaces for artistic freedom since 1963. Such spaces remain threatened in our present and our future.

Chemould built its archive to honour its 60 year milestone. From this archive — architectural motifs, photographs, Parsi community history, maps, exhibition catalogues, letters, objects, floor plans, frame mouldings, oral histories and personal memories, serve as inspiration to artists.

CheMoulding unpacks human needs in the Indian context through showcased artistic responses. In Part 1 Framing we laid open our past selves to an honest re-examination of what-ifs, not what-abouts. In Part 2 Futuring we question who we are becoming and where we find ourselves in the future.

Part 2 Futuring

Futurists actively view the present world as a window to possible future outcomes. By this definition, we are all futurists. However, in reality, actively viewing the present means to confront the timeless truths which outlast us — love, grief and loss, a sense of belonging and comfort (or lack thereof), our internal battles with all that differs from us.

Archival material cautioning against futures of distrust and hatred fuelled by ‘othering’ form the beating heart of this exhibition. Our collective responsibility to record our dissent as we witness contemporary violence is highlighted with textual references about historical erasure and artificial intelligence (AI) systems echoing the same. Neither AI, now we, are exempt from our inherent biases.

The central nucleus of both exhibitions is the architectural intervention that brings two histories together; the current (2007-onwards) Chemould Prescott Road intersected by the old (1963-2007) Gallery Chemould structure within it. Its womb-like concave room cradles future landscapes of art, critically looking within and beyond arts institutional infrastructures. Its convex wall displays the ‘CheMoulding Archival Timeline’ researched by us from 700 CE to future forecast trends until 2050 through the lens of Chemould in Bombay. The timeline acknowledges an India where climate crises will soon outweigh its economic progress, and yet envisions a future for art in it.

Together, Framing and Futuring make CheMoulding a space where archives are framed contextually for our future generations, with an invitation to reflect and do better. - Shaleen Wadhwana

Participating Artists
Anju Dodiya, Aditi Singh, CAMP + Mohit Shelare, himanshu S & aqui T, Dayanita Singh, Gulammohammed Sheikh, Jitish Kallat, Lavanya Mani, L N Tallur, Nilima Sheikh, Pushpamala N, Rashid Rana, Reena Saini Kallat, Yardena Kurulkar

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