> Soil as witness | Memory as wound

Apnavi Makanji

14 March - 27 April, 2019

We are delighted to present Soil as witness | Memory as wound – Apnavi Makanji’s first solo exhibition at TARQ. Her wider art practice redefines nature as the centre stage of our existence emphasizing on the processes of life and death and making visible the marginalized, the unnoticed, the forgotten and the hidden. In this exhibition, Makanji presents a series of installations that use a variety of site specific soil as their core medium. The exhibition also includes several watercolour works, and revolves around ideas of memory and home, with a broader horizon that touches migration, identity and human constructs of nature.

The fluid earthy forms in her drawings along with the presence of soil, and it’s smell, together assert the superiority of nature. They capture the impermanent and transformative order of things with soil acting as the only constant, physical element, deeply connected with memory. The particles of earth that Makanji works with are the only truth and counter point to the erosion/fabrication of memory; serving as a repository for multiple histories. The smell of the soil is a key factor in Makanji’s installation, and becomes a touch stone for viewers of the work to engage their olfactory senses while viewing the show.

The exhibition also includes Makanji’s video work, Keedi which looks at the microscopic shifts and cycles of existence and decay within the environment that go unnoticed. With ants, crows, and other insects as the protagonists of the narrative, this work captures their daily activities and highlights their rejection of the man-made boundaries. Shot over the span of three years in Bombay Port Trust Garden, it reflects the intricate and often uneasy negotiations between the various species that inhabit spaces manicured for human needs.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue essay penned by Dr. Faisal Devji.

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Apnavi Makanji

Apnavi Makanji (b. 1976) is a visual artist who lives and works in Geneva. They use the mediums of drawing, installation and video to talk about a composite of issues: displacement, social conditioning, environmental concerns, explorations of memory and the idea of “home” and how this synthesis interacts with the construct of urban spaces and the socio-economic structure of our times.

Their last solo show Travails of the Wandering Memory Seed was exhibited at Galerie Felix Frachon, Brussels in 2016. Their other solo shows include, Domus Vulgus, Art Asia Miami (with support from The Guild NY), Miami (2010); Domus Vulgus, The Guild, NY (2010); and Run While You Can, Chatterjee and Lal/Jehangir Nicholson Gallery NCPA, Mumbai (2006).

They have participated in several group exhibitions including Remembering the Present, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (2018); Carnets, Halle Nord, Geneva (2017); Season 1: Frontiers, Galerie Felix Frachon, Brussels (2017); Raving Disco Dolly on a Rock ‘n’ Roll Trolley, Envoy Enterprises, NY (2014); Considering Collage, Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai (2013); Caution- Children at Work, curated by Gitanjali Dang, Mumbai Art Room, Mumbai (2011); I think Therefore Graffiti, The Guild, Mumbai (2010/2011); Domestic Policy, South Asian Women’s Creative Collective, The Guild, NY (2009) amongst others.


  • Memory meets metamorphosis

    Apnavi Makanji dabbles with nature and the olfactory senses to explore the circle of life.

    The Hindu
    30 Mar 2019
    Read More