by Shraddha NairSep 18, 2021
The Gujral Foundation, in association with Outset India, recently presented multidisciplinary artist Remen Chopra W. Van Der Vaart’s solo exhibition Memory’s cut; Its Deep Embrace. The exhibit was installed at the foundation’s experimental site in New Delhi. Through the works, several of which were site-specific, the artist reflected upon her personal journey, the ideas of migration and borders, of belonging and home, of inheritance and roots, of time and space. Vaart employed writings, maps, objects, and poetry to respond to the emotions as she recalled family stories of Iran, Rawalpindi, and Shimla. “Elaborating on the textile tradition where stories, symbols, tools and skills are transferred within the family, my work bridges the past, present and future, where time is seen as a continuous loop of events,” she says.
The unique assemblage of intimate moments, objects, and expressions transformed a period-house in Lutyens Delhi through the experiential and immersive show. Reacting on the idea of using the old residential location to set this show up, the curatorial advisor, Reha Sodhi, said “The Gujral Foundation encourages site-specific and experimental projects wherein an artist is invited to respond to the spaces within the house as well as its architecture. For Memory's cut: Its Deep Embrace, we wanted to transform every room into a series of personal spaces that encapsulate Remen's memories of home. We discussed at length how we could intervene and achieve this. For example, in the work Location-Dislocation, the idea was to create a sense of a spiral staircase that connects the ground floor to first floor, leaving an impression of transition. Remen responded to this by creating an installation with mulmul panels that capture a fleeting moment in time”.
Feroze Gujral, the founder of the Gujral Foundation, is an art patron, philanthropist, businesswoman, former model, and media personality. She is also the co-founder and trustee for India’s first biennale, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, established in 2012, and is on the international board of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Her aim through the foundation is to promote new models for corporate, institutional and individual support for the arts and culture in India.
One of the most sticking works took the central space on ground floor of the house was a wooden sculpture, referencing topography. There were distinct elements that were picked from the hill city of Shimla. The work itself was placed on a floor-carpet. For Vaart, the carpet is a personal object with woven stories. It also links back to the handwoven traditions of Iran, the home to her maternal grandmother. The juxtaposed layer of topography that very loosely remanences that of Shimla adds the context of movement and migration to the city.
STIR gets an exclusive walkthrough with the artist where she shares her deeper concerns and memories that reflect in her art work.
The exhibition was on view from January 31-February 24, 2020.