Amar Kanwar, Anita Dube, Asma Mundrawalla, Asma Mundrawala, Ayesha Zulfiqar Shiekh, Bani Abidi, Faiza Butt, Farida Batool, Gargi Raina, Nalini Malani, Iftikhar Dadi, Imran Ahmad, Imran Qureshi, Ismet Khwaja, Martand Khosla, N. Pushpamala, Shilpa Gupta, Risham Syed, Roohi Ahmad, Sheba Chhachhi, Somnath Hore, Susanta Mandal, Tejal Shah, Varsha Nair, Unum Babar, Zarina Hashmi
24 Jor Bagh, New Delhi
This Night Bitten Dawn | 2016
” …..And the heart still aches and the eye still seeks and will not be still”.
Building on the framework of Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poem, ‘Subah-e-Azaadi’ (Dawn of Freedom), this exhibition reinterpreted the moment of the partition of India nearly seven decades later. Inspired by the poet, the artists here probed the past and the present simultaneously to circumvent history as it is told and try to reimagine and fashion it anew.
They proceeded towards a scrutiny; troublesome and persistent, of communities that carried with them the sounds of lullabies embedded in the bones and ashes which their ancestors left behind. They never fully abandoned the ideas of ‘home’, instead they rearranged them in myriad ways as the pain subsided and the hearts were induced to heal.
Such a past can only be dreamt again with fierce tenacity for the present to make sense, sifting through half truths and seeing through the scrim of broken promises. The poem may be a memorial to another time but it continues to insist on a critical look at why ‘the dark weight of night is not lifted yet’, and how the gossamer like promise of a journey of shared futures which commenced a long time ago was denied culmination.