Mithu Sen challenges our standards of social exchange

 

Mithu Sen challenges her audiences to explore the in-between spaces of social conventions and interactions. She uses poetry, drawing, objects, text and performance to investigate social behaviour. Sen’s works question and dodge meaning, and with a playful humour, she creates new possibilities of communication, and employs symbolic and linguistic devices, such as ‘(un)’, to explore social exchange. The artist describes her ongoing UnMYthU project as a ‘byproduct of twenty years of performance’ that draws on her career of making and sharing art.

SUBSCRIBE to QAGOMA YouTube to go behind-the-scenes at events and exhibitions / Mithu Sen, India b.1971 / UnMYthU: UnKIND(s) Alternatives Performance / 24 November 2018, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane / Live performance with Alexa device / Commissioned for ‘The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’ (APT9) / Courtesy: The artist and Gallery Chemould, Mumbai / © Mithu Sen

For ‘The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’ (APT9), Sen has created a series of large-scale drawings on handmade Kozo paper. These drawings are accompanied by diagrams, recorded performances and instructions that pose directions, questions, contracts and obligations for the audience. Like using ‘(un)’ as a device to open alternate understandings, in a similar manner, Sen explores concepts of artificial intelligence, experimenting with new identities beyond human logic.

UnMYthU: UnKIND(s) Alternatives (un)myths through the trope of A(I) – artificial intelligence – which (un)creates to allow for access and actualisation of the void where I locate the medium of life. The tactile byproducts that are exhibited and the performance taking place by each entity engaging with the installation are both creations of A(I). The pristine surface layer of the painted paper and the words and numbers floating around the surface together create the space of inbetweeness – a void – where the (un)mything takes place.

Mithu Sen, India b.1971 / UnMYthU: UnKIND(s) Alternatives (detail) 2018 / Mixed media on unique edition custom made kozo paper, lightboxes, wall drawing, contracts, found objects / Commissioned for ‘The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’ (APT9) / Courtesy: The artist and Gallery Chemould, Mumbai / © Mithu Sen

Delve deeper into APT9 with Ali Kazim

Ali Kazim creates highly crafted works that experiment with painterly techniques to create atmospheric, dream-like qualities. In precise detail, Kazim captures the stillness of a deserted landscape or a sudden transformation as a storm tears through parched terrain. His paintings are based on the Punjab region of Pakistan – once home to a large part of the Indus Valley Civilisation and now scattered with ancient ruins.

SUBSCRIBE to QAGOMA YouTube to go behind-the-scenes at events and exhibitions / Ali Kazim, Pakistan b.1979 / Untitled (ruins series) 2018 / Watercolour pigments on paper / Four sheets: 206 x 456cm (overall) / Purchased 2018 with funds from the Contemporary Patrons through the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation / Purchased 2018 with funds from the Contemporary Patrons through the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Ali Kazim

Subscribe to QAGOMA YouTube to go behind-the-scenes at events and exhibitions / Watch APT9 videos or Read about APT9 artists

buy the APT9 publication

APT9 has been assisted by our Founding Supporter Queensland Government and Principal Partner the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments.

Feature image detail: Mithu Sen’s UnMYthU: UnKIND(s) Alternatives Performance

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