Smeared with blood red color, a large skull, decked up with Kashmir’s antique papier mache art — Kashmiri artist Veer Munshi’s famous accomplice in most of his artworks with mirrors surrounding it in a small room at India Habitat Centre’s Visual Arts Gallery. Part of his site-specific installation Beyond the Personal, it lies surrounded by shrapnel, which looks like a result of a bomb explosion. It is a glaring reminder of the recent Pulwama attacks and the bombings in Sri Lanka occurred last month.
“Conflict can be social, political, economical, ideological or a division in one’s own thought process. In present times, it is visible in the form of polarised politics,” says Delhi-based Munshi, 60, as he puts forward the significance of the exhibition, “Silent Conflicts”.
The show also portrays about the inner struggles everyone faces in life, guided by the experiences of 12 contemporary artists and their videos, sculptures and canvases. Curator of the show Ashna Singh believes that the biggest war is within ourselves. She says, “Everybody is going through something or the other. Today we are going through a constant inner struggle. Decades ago it was all about two nations fighting each other, but the majority today is going through so many differences within, be it on social media or each one trying to create an identity in a particular social segment. This constant struggle we go through everyday is so silent.”
Ashna also states, “People are constantly posting photos all day, making their lives look better than the rest. They look well-dressed, and even if they aren’t happy, we tend to think the person is so much happier. They are always posting things that they own and the hotels they check in to. These are such dual lives that people are leading today. The works in the show have so much to do with that and they deal with these contradictions and dualities.”
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