Open Minds 2017: Soft Power

Jitish Kallat, Artist

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Here and Ever

Earlier this year, the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi was transformed into a magical space as it hosted over 100 works by Jitish Kallat, including paintings, photographs, video and sculptural installations.

I’ve never been sure about the idea of instrumentalising one’s art to comment on the social or political climate. That to me would be akin to agitprop postermaking

Titled Here After Here, the show boggled the mind as one wondered how a single individual could pull off such a vast range of work from 1992 to the present. The Mumbai-based artist proved he was a visionary when he donned the role of curator and artistic director of Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014. With this show, viewers were reminded of his artistic genius. In his hands, the roti turns into a waxing and waning moon, scaffolds are metamorphosed into menageries, and bones become automobiles. Under his gaze, the shirt pocket can tell the story of a man and many men.

(For the complete list of power of argument in 50 portraits click here)