Inspired by American poet Elizabeth Bishop’s famous poem ‘One Art’, A Handful of Dust is a conceptual exhibition that explores the multiplicity of truth through disorientation, speculation and inventiveness in perspectives. In culture and community, as groups we tend to strive for pure definitions and generic completion to tame the seemingly random chaos of our existences. Yet we struggle to fathom wholeness, in terms of identity, time, place, memory and being, and so we develop symbolic vocabularies to represent our questions. But what if we were to fragment the world in and around us for better understanding, and frolic in its distortions? To challenge ourselves is to consider alterity, to acknowledge the possibilities pregnant in what is seen but also not seen, and likewise not heard, or tasted, or touched in usual modalities of recognition. Would losing some of our beliefs about the way things are or should be grant us a greater reward by way of the imagination?
With thoughtful curatorial intervention to challenge expectations of how art must be perceived in galleries, A Handful of Dust brings together a suite of works across media and techniques, including drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, and machines, to explore concepts of ecological regeneration, human progress, family history, urban systems, physical objects, personal memory, the human body, philosophical schools, and even sleep as indeterminable, heterogenous and disfigured knowledge bodies, grasped through self-encounter rather than broad conditioning.
ABOUT VADEHRA ART GALLERY
Representing a roster of artists across four generations, Vadehra Art Gallery was established in 1987 with a passion to pioneer Indian art as a conduit of cultural celebration, intellect and value in the public milieu. Modern masters like M.F. Husain, Ram Kumar, S.H. Raza and Tyeb Mehta find prime spot in the gallery’s calendar alongside the subsequent generation of modernists like Arpita Singh, A. Ramachandran, Nalini Malani, Gulammohammed Sheikh and Rameshwar Broota. The gallery’s expansive contemporary programme includes some of the most exciting names in Indian art such as Atul Dodiya, Shilpa Gupta, Anju Dodiya, N.S. Harsha and Sunil Gupta, as well as young emerging talent like Sachin George Sebastian, Shrimanti Saha and Shailesh B.R. Over the last two decades, the gallery has published several books and monographs in collaboration with major publishing houses like Penguin and Prestel, as well as hundreds of illustrated exhibition catalogues.