An art exhibition by renowned visual artist Amol K Patil is being held at the Hayward Gallery, London, from October 11 to November 19. 2023, The Hayward Gallery, the Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation and the Kochi Biennale Foundation are presenting the show titled ‘The Politics of Skin and Movement’.
The exhibition commemorates Patil, based in Mumbai and Amsterdam, as the first recipient of the Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation/Kochi-Muziris Biennale (DBF-KMB) Award, a multi-year exhibition and lecture programme spotlighting emerging South Asian artists.
Selected on the strength of his installation The Politics of Skin and Movement, which was presented at the fifth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Patil showcases a new iteration of this ambitious and meditative work which is his first institutional solo exhibition in the UK.
Consisting of a constellation of drawings, sculptures, kinetic objects and moving images, The Politics of Skin and Movement questions conditions of labour, casteism and the body. It also touches upon the larger issue of both real and imaginary borders in relation to access and movement for Patil’s community across time and history. The installation further draws upon Patil’s family archives and the legacy of his grandfather, a poet, and his father, an avant-garde playwright.
The exhibition marks the reopening of the Hayward Gallery’s HENI Project Space, which has presented free exhibitions from a wide-ranging group of innovative international artists since 2007. Previous artists who have exhibited in the space include Hicham Berrada, Kate Cooper, Dineo Seshee Bopape and Victor Mann.
Amol K Patil said he was elated over being chosen for the award and getting the opportunity to showcase his work at Hayward Gallery. “The installation looks like a disjointed sequence of still images, but when you get closer, there are subtle movements. These movements are like meditations on the body's senses; touch, sound, breathing, and other working processes, engaging with ideas of touch and skin politics.”
Yung Ma, senior curator of the Hayward Gallery, described the installation as a work which prompts viewers to slow down, asking them to realign and refocus their eyes and minds in a world that is moving faster than ever. “His work The Politics of Skin and Movement from Kochi-Muziris Biennale is a powerful statement on the human condition, encapsulating many of the struggles and possible hopes within. It offers a lyrical and sensitive mediation of labour and division in an otherwise unforgiving world. I am excited to be able to bring his vision to audiences in London as the recipient of the first DBF-KMB Award,” Ma said.
Durjoy Rahman, founder of Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation (DBF), said, “Through the DBF-KMB Award and the DBF Lecture Series at the Hayward Gallery, a timely multidimensional cultural collaboration seeks to bridge the gap between the East and the West, fostering an atmosphere of openness and embracing diversity."
Bose Krishnamachari, president of Kochi Biennale Foundation, says: “Kochi Biennale Foundation is honoured to co-present Patil’s first institutional solo show in the UK in partnership with the Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation and London’s prestigious Hayward Gallery. We have always believed in building international collaborations and giving a platform to artists, and we hope this initiative will pave the way for further knowledge sharing and more opportunities for practitioners from across the South Asian region.” The Hayward Gallery also presents Hiroshi Sugimoto’s ‘Time Machine’ from October 11 to January 7.