Message to Zero
  Amitabh Kumar
  13 April  - 29 June, 2013


I catch the artist at the end of a long day at work. He is washing the paint off of his face.


Amitabh: What is the show about?

Amitabh: The project is a series of propositions to the public. We use the precision of a contemporary art display site to give them a sharper edge.


A: What do you mean by that?

A: A surgical table where I add a thin layer in addition to the constructs, triggers and affects that uplift the urban site from one of mere materiality.


A: Please elaborate?

A: The skin of the city is alive and won't let itself be marked so easily. It's evasive and tricky. But it is also one of the easiest ingredients to access if we want to reconstruct it. This project is an experiment to mark the city and make the marking mark you. 


A: Mark what?

A: Use the drawings and it's presence on the walls of the city to create newer possibilities for it’s reconstruction.


A: What if I do not want to reconstruct?

A: Everyone does it the minute we try and remember. Each memory is a reconstruction.


A: But all I see are these big drawings. Where are the marking in the city?

A: The drawings you see inside the gallery are simulations of the Murals outside. They create a constellation of images that are crucial in triggering an update in the way the urban site in question is re-imagined.


A:  And the site is?

A: This time it's Mumbai. And accompanying the images is documentation of about 50 murals that I have made across it. Every drawing is repeated about 8 times. This repetition across sites creates a route. A map of this route is made and the viewer is egged on to chart it. There are 8 maps.


A: When did you make the Mural's? 

A: Early April.


A: And the Drawings?

A: Same time.


A:  That's a lot of work.

(Washes face)


A: So, the documentation could also be fake?

A: That depends on your stake involved in its authenticity.


A: I don’t understand.

A: Neither do I.



Amitabh Kumar is a designer/artist from New Delhi, graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, MSU Baroda and has worked as a part of the Sarai Media Lab (2006 -2010) where he researched and made comics, programmed events, designed books and co-curated an experimental art space. He is visiting faculty to the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology and is an initiating member of the Delhi based comics ensemble, The Pao Collective. Amitabh Kumar curated City as Studio along with Magda Kardasz at Zacheta National Art Gallery, Poland, 2011 and co-curated and participated in Sarai City as Studio EXB series, 2010. His few selected shows include Glitch Frame Lollipop, Lattitude 28, New Delhi, 2012; On the Sidereal, residency and exhibition curated by Prayas Abhinav at The Guild, 2012; invited as a guest artist for the London- Delhi 2010 – 2012: Artist Lab (Watermans, London). 

Amitabh Kumar was invited along with his colleagues to do large scale murals for Kochi  Muziris Biennale, on the Aspinwall House, 2012; at various locations in Pune by Pune Biennale, 2012; a public mural for Khoj Das Tak, 2012; at Sua House by a private collector, 2013; designed and executed mural ‘Dilemma of the Techno hero’ for the Information Society Seminar in the Sarai-CSDS compound, 2006.


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