Talwar Gallery is pleased to announce (desi)re, an exhibition expressing the raison d’être of our gallery by bringing together a group of artists that have been introduced by us over the past few years. Desire simmers with passion, is ruled by obsession, and driven by purpose. As George Bernard Shaw once remarked, “You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.”
Desi, a Hindu word implying “of one’s own country” and used frequently for “of Indian origin” employed here not just as a subset of desire but also as a curatorial component. The artists’ shared origin or “roots” are reflected merely as a single strand in a complex woven fabric that is each artist, each individually without any overt superficial cultural identification.
The artists featured in this exhibition are A.Balasubramaniam, Zarina Bhimji, Allan deSouza, Subba Ghosh, Sheila Makhijani, Ranjani Shettar, Anjum Singh and Alia Syed.
The group of artists employs a variety of media to translate their unique individual vision with regards to purpose, identity, history, and place. Their desires to exceed expectations of locality, of self; to extract purpose and significance from their familiar environs. To create, these artists have renegotiated the borders and refuse to singularly site themselves or their work; traversing beyond any simplified categorization based on geography, religion, culture, and race. Considered just “desi” in the minds of the uninitiated, these artists collectively represent more than just the country of their ethnic origin. They invoke an awareness of self and the world. They have renegotiated borders to include what lies beyond their inherited “origin.” The boundaries of their cultural landscape have no distinct edge and their identity is not captive of their passports. The moniker “desi” used for them, or any other group of “ethnically” aligned artists is not just simplistic and naïve, but restrictive and exclusionary designation that imparts a linear view of the complex, multidimensional nature of their work and our world.