R and R | खुल्ती चिट्ठी Letter Opening
Art is finally going to the people, with a new art space in Mankhurd. This is the first curated exhibition at the R and R space. The show looks the anthropology of the written letters. “The specific multiplicity that occurs when letters exceed or fail their interpersonal communicative role, and develop other ambitions; partly by intention and partly because of a changed physical and psychic environment.”
The immediate environment of this exhibition is a library that is being built, into which the insertion of such writings is meant to open up what reading means and does.
‘Open letters’ are a feature of our current political turmoil. They are addressed to someone in particular, but also to anyone who catches them. This form of the open letter is important, because it asks who writes, to whom and where, and are archived as a part of history, accessible to the researcher, who is trying to craft a history around a subject of these letters. This is what differentiates it from the spoken word. It is a matter of ‘literacy’, but also of medium. Letters cast, painted or printed onto paper, body or network, do something subliminal to our assumptions about the tone and life of writing. So much so that in the time of standardised Internet platforms, a text scrawled on the wall by a child can feel like a shock.
Some of the works in the exhibition are listed below:
Atul Dodiya: Letter from father
Gauri Gill: Words and drawings on the walls of schools in Rajasthan
Mithu Sen: Hairy letters in non-language
Mukta Salve: Open letter from 1855
Poonam Jain: Coded sentence, a concentric writing book
Shilpa Gupta: An invitation to colour a sentence
Shreyas Karle: A booklet on redundant terminologies
Address: R and R, Blue Door behind Building 21-B, Lallubhai Compound, Mankhurd, Mumbai.