Meanwhile, what about Socialism?


27 February – 27 March 2016

Madhusudhanan: The Marx Archive – Logic of Disappearance 
Pallavi Paul: Trilogy
BALTIC’s project space at BALTIC 39

Festival Exhibition Preview: Friday 26 February 2016 / 19.00-22.00

As part of the group exhibition Meanwhile, what about Socialism?, AV Festival presents installations by two India-based artists. Madhusudhanan is artist in residence working on new large-scale drawings as part of The Marx Archive – Logic of Disappearance. Pallavi Paul presents her film trilogy focusing around the radical movement of 1970s India.

Special Festival Opening Times:
Tuesday – Sunday 12.00-18.00 / Thursday 12.00-20.00

Find out more: avfestival.co.uk

Images: Pallavi Paul, Long Hair, Short Ideas 2014. Courtesy the artist and Project 88, Mumbai; Madhusudhanan, The Marx Archive – Logic of Disappearance 2014. Courtesy the artist

Madhusudhanan: The Marx Archive – Logic of Disappearance

The Marx Archive – Logic of Disappearance is an ongoing project rooted in Madhusudhanan’s lifelong commitment to the practice of drawing and the art of cinema. His work is deeply embedded in the contribution of Marxism to artistic culture and the human race, describing Marxism as ‘the greatest wave in the history of thought. The ship of human life traveled up and down this wave’. The drawings are a solitary contemplation of this dream, amidst the tide of historical progress that has witnessed the rise of neoliberal capitalism following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Avoiding nostalgia, his work explores the intersection of world history and that of India, referencing the Bogeyman from Francisco Goya’s etchings series Los Capricos; the 1921 model Cheverolet car from Ritwik Ghatak’s film Ajantrik; montages from Eisenstein’s film Ivan the Terrible; and the pig, a symbol of greed and thirst for power in Buddhism. In his work, just like the lighthouse at his birthplace Kerala, light emerges out of darkness; the drawings are image fragments made visible by this sweeping light. As Madhusudhanan describes: ‘Light coming and going continuously, like memories, become visible in the present day darkness’.

Madhusudhanan is artist in residence during the entire Festival month, working on new large-scale charcoal drawings in the gallery.

On Friday 25 March 2016, 16.00-18.00, Madhusudhanan presents a special event at BALTIC 39, discussing his work and screening his short film Razor, Blood & Other Tales. More information here.

Pallavi Paul: Trilogy

In her trilogy of films – Nayi Kheti (New Harvest) 2013, Shabdkosh (A Dictionary), 2013, and Long Hair, Short Ideas, 2014 – Pallavi Paul reassesses the status of the documentary method: in order to speak fearlessly one also needs to hear fearlessly. Her work extricates the political from a language of nostalgia or mourning, to get to the heart of resistance by using historic material as a playful critical interface for the contemporary.

Central to the trilogy is the revolutionary poet Vidrohi (the rebel), who began writing from the 1970s as the Naxalite group of far-left radical communists started in West Bengal. The artist uses Vidrohi’s poetry as a kind of laboratory to test the tensile strength of resistance as a material of life. The final film in the trilogy is constructed around Vidrohi’s wife, her relationship to the radical movement of the 1970s in India and her intimate experiences around domesticity, sexuality and labour.

On Sunday 28 February 2016, 11.00-12.00, Pallavi Paul discusses her work with AV Festival director Rebecca Shatwell at Tyneside Cinema. More information here.

This exhibition is curated by: