Event Art

‘The disposable people’

The Y script installation

The Y script installation  

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Artist Naini Arora’s series ‘The Y Script for Non-Persons’ is a juxtaposition of fragility and strength

Observe a fencing border in your neighbourhood closely. Quite often, the fence and its barbed wires are built around ‘Y’ shaped structures. A fence that marks the boundary of a vacant piece of land, a house, or a school is an everyday phenomenon.

In the eyes of artist Naini Arora, these Y-shaped structures are metaphors to territorial claims. She felt that these borders themselves were posing a question of ‘why’ to their existence. Do we need borders? Can we do away with them? There are no simple answers, when the border in question define the international boundaries between nations. “I began to question what we are afraid of that we’ve created these borders that can turn violent in the national, political or religious contexts,” says Naini.

Naini Arora

Naini Arora  

She argues that these boundaries lead to the creation of “non-persons”. Explaining it in context, she urges viewers of her artworks to consider the situation migrants or refugees find themselves in. “The boundaries have relegated many of them homeless, on to footpaths. They’ve become disposable people or non-persons who are prone to diseases and poverty,” she explains.

Her recent series explores the tenacity of borders and the fragility of these people. Woodcut prints and drawings on rice paper with a three-dimensional quality characterise her work. She uses fragile, sensitive rice paper as a medium to contradict the heaviness of the topic. Further, she looks at rice papers as a surface that can be folded with ease and portable, just like the migrants who wander from place to place.

Woodcut print collage

Woodcut print collage  

‘The Y Script for Non-Persons’ took two years to complete and the centrepiece, with three juxtaposing works, was exhibited as part of her India Week 2017 showcase in Hamburg. This includes a woodcut print collage of an imposing, almost impenetrable border with the predominant Y structure with barbed wires.

The artist thematically explores ideas of displacement, despair, alienation and nurtures the idea of repair and reconciliation. In his curatorial note, art teacher Omprakash points out how Naini takes viewers through the spaces towards the borders (which can be regional, national, international and psychological) and engages them in a continuous dialogue of Y (or why).

The ‘non-persons’ depicted in Naini’s work are nameless, faceless entities who’ve merged with their surroundings, heads bent, without a sense of belonging.

The Y Script for Non-Persons by Naini Arora is on display at Goethe Zentrum, Hyderabad, till March 27.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 1:38:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/art/artist-naini-aroras-series-the-y-script-for-non-persons-is-a-juxtaposition-of-fragility-and-strength/article26520773.ece

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