Hidden away in Fort Kochi in an apartment block behind № 18 Hotel, 3BHK hosted by Home-Sweet-Home really brought to life for me what Hans Ulrich Obrist says in Ways of Curating, “To bring the various elements of the exhibition into a cohesive whole, each of the artists should contribute to the greater picture. Exhibitions should develop a life of their own, more like a conversation between artists and curator than an arrangement of their work to suit a pre-existing idea.”

This sense of cohesion and bonding came out in many layers of the show, from the multicultural choice of artwork to the interactions and organisation of the opening evening. You can see that the household, all of whom have a strong connection with Srishti in Bangalore, have nurtured the show in their own ways.

Chinar Shah’s installation even lists out the members of the house, proudly reinforcing that sense of belonging. Chinar’s first explorations into physical installation produces a thought provoking piece that engages nostalgia, memory and the right to be forgotten. All the pieces take up unassuming spots in the house, none trying to making loud disruptions in the space but all throwing up varied and important questions.

Nihaal Faizal’s very deceptive re-photographing of windows wallpapers harkens back to a time when computers hadn’t as yet completely taken over our lives. They trigger strong reflections on how much of our lives and knowledge of the world is mediated through the digital screen.

Famous Artist’s Aspiration Compression Suite speaking about ownership and aspirational estate took me back to one of my ambitions from the days of yore, to own a house I would spend hours planning out. Spending some time in the suite taking in their audio piece, I went on a journey viewing my ideas on ownership across the years. Today’s consumerist connected world has me on the opposite end of the spectrum, seeing ownership as an anchor pulling down a cruising boat.

Irene Westholm’s video in the kitchen, beautiful placement, threw up the idea of surveillance and voyeurism through the view of the neighbourly gaze. If you sat and just viewed your neighbours through their windows, how much of their lives would you know?

A breath of fresh air, the show brings a twist of dark humour to art, a quality we didn’t see much of in the pieces at the Biennale, and don’t regularly see in Indian contemporary art. With a refreshing set up that really challenges our white box notions of art, the show is a must visit for those who make it in time to Kochi. Perfectly summing up, the shining Sultana remarked, “Boy! That was cool”.

3BHK, at Heritage Apartments, Fort Kochi until 3rd Jan, 2017. More details here.

Right To Be Forgotten by Chinar Shah
Landscape Photographs (Bliss) by Nihaal Faizal
Aspirational Compression Suite by Famous Artist
I’m Your Neighbour by Irene Westholm
Augusta by Eva Kock

Photographs courtesy the artists.

Curator, Allies for the Uncertain Futures. See my work at www.shaunak.co

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