This conversation between the artist Sharmila Samant and curator Sumesh Sharma coincides with the artist’s solo show ‘Listen to your eye’ at Lakeeren, Mumbai. The exhibition encapsulates concerns of globalization, identity, consumer culture, ecological destruction and marginalized issues that she has been working with over the last 15 years. Curating from the notes made by the artist for works that could not be actualized earlier, this exhibition includes seven works that open out a discursive space between [art] objects and their functionality in the current socio-political scenario. Keeping the exhibition in context, the conversation will trace Samant’s artistic journey and will also bring in aspects of other current projects that she is involved with including In Deed: Certificates of Authenticity in Art at the Mumbai Art Room and Examples to Follow: Expeditions in Aesthetics and Sustainability, the latter being part of the German-Indian year supported by Goethe Institut-Max Mueller Bhavan, Mumbai.
Sharmila Samant graduated in Sculpture from Sir J. J. School of Arts, which was followed by a diploma in Interior Design, a Fellowship at the Kanoria Center for Arts, Ahmedabad, and artist-residencies at Rijksakademie in Amsterdam and at Gasworks in London. Samant was one of the founders of the Mumbai-based collective, Open Circle that sought to engage with contemporary socio-political issues via an integration of theory and practice. Negotiating in both private and public spheres, Samant has engaged in collaborative and participatory art projects with various communities while exploring ideas of exchange, accessibility and authorship. Her installations and video works have been part of many prominent exhibitions in biennales, museums, artist-led spaces and alternative venues in India and abroad.
Sumesh Sharma is a curator and cultural strategist with the Clark House Initiative in Bombay. His practice is informed by cultural perspectives of political and economic history. Histories of communities in India, language religion and politics in Francophone Africa, and immigrant identities in Europe, form part of his research. In 2008 he graduated from the Universite Paul Cezanne, Aix-en-Provence where his masters thesis inquired into the emergence of leadership among contemporary art practitioners. He was part of the second edition of the Gwangju Biennale International Curators Programme 2010 in South Korea. In 2011 he curated the 5th Ayodhya Film Festival, the Studio of AA Raiba, Auguries - JJXXI, Student Exhibition Sir JJ School of Arts, Simon Liddiment, Published in Dissent Pune, Padmini Chettur - Untitled Exhibition # 1, Mohsen Rastani, and the Sabavala Portfolio.
At Clark House Sharmila Samant recently curated a video exchange programme with the Cornwall Autonomous Zone. Sumesh has worked closely with her on Against AFSPA at the NGMA, on the exhibition Right to Dissent, and on a spoken-word performance by Liz Ballard and Sharmila at Clark House.
Admission free and open to all.