Detritus : Matter Out of Place

What is dirt? Dirt is matter out of place said Mary Douglas once. How can we evaluate history? An
artist hear is trying to say out that history could be found out through the trash it produces. Arjun
Appadurai had done a study on the same as to how globalisation is many a time synonymous to the
amount of debris it produces. The exhibition is not an ordinary one where not just dirt or debris is
becoming a theme but gets transformed into an essential artefact with its own aesthetic sense.
Detritus here is considered by the artist as a marginalised matter and artist explores how recycling
this could be a powerful alternative model.
This display looks at the dislocations that happen when artists work with the aesthetics of waste,
focus on its materials and politics, revolving it into figure of radical indeterminacy. In a process of
continuous alteration, trash produces its own aesthetics and generative afterlives.
As Adwait Singh one of the viewers point out in his Facebook post: “It presents the lay of post-
colonial urbanisation and modernity in the subcontinent through its discarded materiality. Waste is
the very sign and substance of life at work”
The exhibition also explores the various aspects surrounding waste. Waste is essentially a product of
our cultural systems and so are the marginal community who are pushed into the process of
cleaning them. The exhibition forces us to reconsider the political realities of these communities.

About the Curator
A curator based in Delhi, Vidya Shivadas holds a Master’s degree in Art Criticism from the Faculty
of Fine Arts, MS University of Baroda. She joined Vadehra Art Gallery in 2002. She has curated
exhibitions at the Gallery which include Something I’ve been meaning to tell you (with Sunil Gupta),
April 2011; Faiza Butt, Ruby Chishti, Masooma Syed (three Pakistani women artists), April 2009; Fluid
Structures: Gender and Abstraction in India, April 2008; among others.

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