Delhi Contemporary Art Week© Delhi Contemporary Art Week

DCAW Is Exploring Themes Of Alienation This Time Around

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

The fifth edition of Delhi Contemporary Art Week (DCAW) is here and it’s the time to pay attention to the up-and-coming voices in art across India and the sub-continent.

The DCAW is a collaborative project, a result of seven gallerists putting together their heads to come up with a platform that can highlight contemporary art and artists in the country. The participating galleries include Blueprint12, Exhibit 320, Gallery Espace, Latitude28, Nature Morte, Shrine Empire, and Vadehra Art Gallery.

It features a series of curated events, talks, workshops, and walkthroughs at the Center of Contemporary Arts, Bikaner House. Along with the exhibits in each of the seven galleries mentioned, there’s a curated exhibition that is being held at the Old Building at Bikaner House. For this edition, writer Meera Menezes has curated the exhibition ‘Legal Alien’, inspired by Sting’s song ‘Englishman in New York’, where he sings about feeling homesick in a new country.

Taking to Instagram, Menezes elaborated on the theme, writing, “The exhibition explores the notion of alienation and looks at the possible factors that could lead up to it—the rapid march of technology, which appears to connect people, but in essence produces a deep sense of alienation. Or is it the city and the anonymity it bestows on its denizens that creates this estrangement? Coming as we do out of the covid pandemic, our enforced isolation has also left many of us with a sense of loneliness.”

In the exhibition, 28 artists interpret the theme in their own ways. Some artists explore the theme of migration, across borders or from rural to urban areas, and some have delved deep into what it means to be a citizen of a country and still feel like an alien.

In recent times, the DCAW has been at the forefront of platforming new voices in the field to create a more diverse discourse around contemporary art in the country. This year’s edition is a must-visit for art enthusiasts and art collectors, budding or otherwise, to get to know a new wave of voices in the art scene of the country.

You can check out the thought-provoking exhibition, along with the others spread across the city, at the Delhi Contemporary Art Week from 1 September-7 September.