25 January - 3 February 2012
By Exhibit 320 at Kutub Haveli Sarai, Delhi
Arunkumar HG, Bose Krishnamachari, Charmi Gada Shah, G. R. Iranna, Gigi Scaria, Muktinath Mondal, Nandan Ghiya, Pooja Iranna, Princess Pea, Raqs Media Collective, Reena Saini Kallat, Remen Chopra, Riyas Komu, T. V. Santhosh, Vibha Galhotra, Zuleikha Chaudhari & Sean Curley
History of the space
The Sunrydge is nestled between the ruins of Lal Kot and the Qutub Minar. The history of the space travels from the influence of its surrounding architecture and to being a home of a nobleman (presumably Mehbob Ali Kohja, as suggested by old texts and records) and later as a Serai that rested several travellers and passers-by. The architecture of the space, like art over the ages has influences from the dynasties and rulers who are embedded in the history of India.
The history of architecture in Delhi dates back to the early Maurya period. One of the early masterpieces of architecture is the Iron Pillar of Mehrauli, from the early Gupta period situated near Lal Kot in the Qutub Complex. Lal Kot was founded by the Tomar Dynasty in A.D. 736.
The further expansion of the grandeur of Delhi can be traced back to the 12th century with the invasion of foreign rulers who incorporated elements of their culture through art and architecture in Hindustan.
The Qutub Minar, built by Sultan Iltutmish in A.D. 1231 - 1232, was named after Khwaja Qutb-ud-din of Ush. In A.D. 1311, Ala-ud-din Khilji undertook the extension of the Qutub Minar by building surrounding gates, courtyards and also had plans to construct a new Minar.
Artists, History and the Contemporary
When one is in a situation where they cannot express themselves freely, the voice of artists becomes much stronger than an individual.
Artists have over the centuries dissolved all boundaries when addressing global issues of politics, marginalisation, economy, security and religious differences, while reacting to their immediate surroundings and situations. In Hindustan too, there was an amalgamation of culture and mingling of identities of the invaders with the locals through art practices. The efforts of artists drawn from diverse regions and brought up in different traditions could be coordinated to achieve an overall homogeneity, in which various elements were harmoniously linked.
Contemporary artists have been path-breakers in the use of medium, concepts and the meaning and representation of art. These artists show the world as it is - through a contemporary, constructed and artistic language of representation. Though contemporary artists draw their inspiration from various aspects - contemporary or historic, they are all rooted in a certain aesthetic of the past.
Contemporary art today is heavily underlined and visualised within a social, political, cultural, economic or historic meaning affiliated with a personal undertone.
The Contemporary Sultanate
Each artist invited to participate in this exhibition, demonstrate a strong, individual, artistic language. The binding factor that links them is their contemporary outlook in addressing diverse issues and ideas through their art practices. There is a personal dialogue and connection with history in its very varied forms.
Text by Veerangnakumari Solanki.