A month-long exhibition at the Museum of Goa, titled “Phir Gandhi”, curated by Subodh Kerkar and Kunal Ray, pays homage to Mahatma Gandhi. The exhibition showcases works of eight artists including The Indian Express Chief Political Cartoonist EP Unny, Subodh Kerkar, Ravikumar Kashi, Chandra Bhattacharjee, Shamala B, Nandesha S, Sweety Joshi and Chaitanya Guttikar. The artists seek to engage with Mahatma Gandhi in an effort to understand his relevance in today’s time. “Phir Gandhi” tries to actively participate in this conversation and probe his location in contemporary society and culture.
Exhibition of “Phir Gandhi”
The opening of the exhibition had Unny in conversation with Ray on how cartoons were essentially “raw art” and still the most powerful visual medium to make a commentary. “No other practising politician has walked into cartoons the way the Mahatma continues to do even today,” said Unny. He spoke of how Gandhi also seems to be the best expression that cartoonists across the country sketch, especially when the country faces turbulent times.
After the Babri Masjid demolition, Gandhi was the most common medium of expression across thousands of cartoons that were sketched across newspapers by cartoonists, recalled Unny.
Through their use of different media, the artists have tried to explore the life, philosophy and the idea of Gandhi. Why is he engraved in our collective conscience? Is he relevant anymore? Do we know him? How should we know him? Among the exhibits a depiction of the Dandi Yatra created by Guttikar, placed in front of a grid of images by Ravikumar Kashi talking about preserving Gandhi’s legacy.
The session also saw some observations following questions from the audience. Unny called “the slow decline of women readers of cartoons from newspapers, absolutely worrisome”. In response to a question on which political leader after Gandhi holds most fascination, he replied, “L K Advani. He can be complex and still interesting”.
The exhibition is on at Museum of Goa, Bardez, till October 30