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Experimenter’s ‘Do You Know How to Start a Fire’ for Art Basel’s OVR:2020...

...takes a look at this year through the works of four artists
Ayesha Sultana, Untitled

Anannya Sarkar   |     |   Published 24.09.20, 10:03 PM

Fraught with pestilence and political unrest, the year 2020 is set to remain etched in our collective psyche for posterity and Experimenter’s joint exhibition titled ‘Do you know how to start a fire’ for Art Basel’s OVR:2020 takes an artistic peek at this through the hands of Ayesha Sultana, Biraaj Dodiya, Prabhakar Pachpute and Rathin Barman.

Through OVR:2020, 100 Art Basel galleries from 28 countries are exhibiting works that are both made this year and resonate with the affairs of this year and city gallery Experimenter is also a part of this showcase.


Pachpute incorporates personal experiences, research and folklore into a new series of oil paintings as he imagines “the future of a post-mined and post-industrial landscape”, while Dodiya’s paintings are “part funereal abstractions, part nocturnal landscapes” and are an extension of her process of applying, scraping off and re-applying layers of paint, as she examines themes such as mortality, youth, absence and discomfort.

Sultana, with her understanding of tempo, rhythm and movement, has created paintings drawn from her intense movements of making them and therefore focuses on the whole as opposed to the many singulars that a single work might comprise. Barman draws memories from the walls of decrepit mansions in north Calcutta to create sculptures out of scaffoldings akin to the thread that binds these structures and their inhabitants, often revealing deeper connections than one can imagine at first glance, in juxtaposition to the concrete, brass and iron he uses.

Through this showcase, Experimenter throws up the possibility of taking a different look at our reality by reimagining what is as what could be.

Prateek Raja, director, Experimenter, who is also a part of the selection committee for this showcase by Art Basel, said “I am honoured to be on the selection committee for the Art Basel OVR:2020. Having been on the selection committee of the physical fair in Basel for the last four years, every year I look forward to our selection committee meetings. For me personally, there is an incredible amount of learning to be had as a committee member along with some of the most forward-thinking gallerists as colleagues. This committee is special in its own way since it’s for the OVR:2020 and what’s better than getting to see brilliant works by artists from all over the world all created in 2020, capturing this pivotal moment in time?”

OVR:2020 is live till September 26 on

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