‘MEENAKSHI SENGUPTA: 'BODY IS NOT ALWAYS LITERAL’

October 01, 2018

 

By Tanishka D’Lyma

 

The show initiates the narrative through the title, by drawing the viewer's attention to the mindfully hyphenated words, highlighting one of them due to separation and repetition. Some-body, Any-body, No-body. You're prepared for what you'll find the show comprising, with a clue to follow the narrative. The show is a composition of pieces that seemingly appear mismatched – a sandstone sculpture, hair, moving images, wooden and iron household items. Pondering on each piece, you'll have a similar takeaway, which will have been guided by the name itself. Uniformity is thus restored, They are and will further represent an object you've used before or are familiar with. You'll recognise them to say the least.

 

'Some-body, Any-body, No-body' by Meenakshi Senguptais her second solo exhibition which was on view at Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai till the September end. Tanishka D’Lyma in convesartion with interview with the artist herself.

 

MOA: Can you tell us a little about the title, and the show? What are its intentions?

Sengupta:The title helps to build a thread between all the works together and guide the viewer towards the artist’s thought process. The title has always been important to me, be it my work title or the exhibition itself. ‘Some-body Any-body No-body', suggests importance of body which is the connecting thread for this particular show. It portrays the 'Body' and its co-relation with various day to day objects, materials, spaces and individuals. 'Body' is not always literal; it denotes body as object, subject, and metaphor along with its association with everyday life.

 

MOA: 'Some-body Any-body No-body' comprises a number of pieces, each different from the next. Besides the theme, how have you maintain uniformity or course?

Sengupta:This particular show was rather challenging for me because I have pushed the possibilities of various materials and re-contextualised them to make new meanings. Apparently the works might look different from each other, but I established the coexistence of a variety of objects/materials which influenced my practice to a large extent. My practice used to be diverse in terms of choosing the right metaphor which can best express my ideas. I believe in that context all the works in the show are very much related to each other.

 

MOA: Does each piece in the show comment on the perception of women from an individual aspect?

Sengupta: Definitely! Each piece has an individual take on how I look at womanhood, body and gender. But all the works together made a statement about a personal as well as a public space and its impact on my practice.

 

MOA: How has your work evolved over the years? What would you say has contributed to it?

Sengupta:My initial training is grounded on the incorporation of miniature painting, but I was always open to other pictorial traditions and my practice has been a conscious combination of a wide range of media which helped to articulate my ideas. The fundamentally hybrid character of my work subverts the obsolete “tradition/modernity”, or “Indian/western” dichotomy. It undermines the perception of art as a mirror of a state of cultural purity, and underscores its discursive character as shaped by history and culture.