A photograph of a lady mannequin with meat hung in the back, suggesting that she too is looked at as nothing more than a piece of meat. A hand groping the mannequin’s bare waist – images, perhaps memories that will haunt you.
Triggered by the molestation incident on January 1, a free-to-enter portable museum will host Museum of Memories on January 14 and 15 at Goethe-Institut. This collaborative project by Sandbox Collective and Berlin-based architect Eduardo de Conceicao will see city-based artists using their art — film, song and visuals to respond to issues around gender, violence and equality.
“The initial idea was to create a children’s portable museum that would travel to government schools. It was since reinvented to become a Museum of Memories that will respond to the need of our times,” says Nimi Ravindran, founder and director of Sandbox Collective.
“The only call to the artists was to keep their sense of humour handy,” she tells us, as entries poured in. Films, GIFs, paintings, letters, installations and other artworks by presenting artists such as Deepika Arwind, Vanika Sharma, Kritika Trehan, Akshita Chandra, Deepikah Bharadwaj, Bruce Vain, Richa Bhavanam, Sapna Dube, Anuja Ghosalkar, Deepika Arwind amongst others will all find a prominent spot.
Aside of the art, a live booth called the Museum of Experiences will allow people to share their experiences, thoughts, opinions and memories; speak up, speak out, or simply speak about anything they might want to share on camera.
Built like a human rib cage, but with no deeper meaning attached as they tell us, the portable museum is an interest construction and fits right into the kind of work that will be presented.
Take Deepika Arwind’s ‘protest’ poster for instance. “It’s simple and quickly drawn. It was a response to the heinous gang rape in Delhi four years ago and I was going to use it at a protest that I was going to attend,” says Deepika, recollecting that she drew a lot during the time as catharsis.
Bengaluru-based artist Sapna Dube is bringing two of her illustrations – one, an Indian woman’s illustrated guide to handy anti-groping self-defense featuring a ‘safety’ pin, whistle, teeth to bite and pepper spray. Her other ink and marker work on textured paper is called Commodity with a woman clad in a uterus print bikini branded with a barcode depicting her as a baby-making machine, a commodity.
“It’s sad that we need to have these discussions and interventions so women can feel safe in public – something that women elsewhere take for granted. As an artist, it is one of my resolutions to use art as a vehicle for change this year,” notes Sapna.