These exhibits are food for thought

These exhibits are food for thought

The art, tradition, and politics of food all come together for the latest exhibition at the Venkatappa Art Gallery (VAG) titled 'Lot can happen over food'.

The exhibition is organised by the VAG Forum, a group of artists who are working to revive the art gallery and keep the space buzzing.

Artists have interpreted what food means to them through photographs, short films, drawings, and installations at the exhibition.

The watercolours by Antara Mukherji explore the uses of Kokum, the fruit from the Western Ghats known for its varied culinary and medicinal uses. Illustrated recipes of Kokum chutney, sol kadi, and juice, are on display.

An artwork which evokes childhood memories shows how a wedding meal is prepared in Karnataka. Images of coconuts plucked from a tree, grated on a traditional coconut grater, and ground in a grinding stone is displayed through it.

Another comic describes how the popular 'Maddur Vade' accidentally came into being, in a stall run by Madhvachar at Maddur railway station in Mandya.

Food tastings, live performances, and recipe swaps are also planned till December 29, to take the experience beyond the visual medium.

This is the fifth 'sambrama' hosted by the VAG forum which conducts a show every 45 days to keep people engaged with the space.

"We want to make this place as active as it was before. The space also needs to change because it was designed in the 1970s. Art has changed since then. We are trying to reflect that in our shows with installations-still, video, and photography," said Suresh Kumar, one of the artists in the forum.

The group was responsible for  protests against the adoption of the gallery by a private art gallery.

The artists are now self-funding for the gallery's maintainance to keep the space alive. "We requested for the walls to be whitewashed several times so that the exhibition hall would look neater, to no avail. Finally, some of us got together and painted it ourselves," one of the group members said.

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