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all canaries bear watching 
curated by Premjish Achari

17th Jan - 27th MARCH, 10aM-5pm


COVID-19 safety protocols limit gallery visitors to 10 at a time

all canaries bear watching

This exhibition foregrounds cultural expressions from the margins to imagine an inclusive cultural sphere through the lens of gender, sexuality, class, caste, and race/ethnicity intersections. The title of the exhibition refers to a practice among coal miners who carry a canary with them into dark and dangerous pits underground. The miners use the tiny bird to assess the quality of the air. If the conditions are deplorable, the toxic air in the mine will cause the fragile lungs of the canary to fail. 


The canary is sacrificed for the benefit of the miners. It alerts us to both danger and promise. The little bird invokes the experiences of the marginalised who become the barometers of distress when social conditions are toxic. It warns that the time has come to detoxify the social climate.

"Of Songs and Silence", review by Mallika Visvanathan, Critical Collective24 Jan 2022. 

"Currently on view at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, this exhibition is an outcome of a larger project called Gender and lntersectionality on India and its Diasporas (GRID) Heritage with institutional partners such as the ICHR, AHRC, JNU and the University of Sussex among others.  As the works open up varied worldviews and engagements with reality through the individual artists' perspectives, the diversity of experiences communicates a multiplicity of affect. Apart from issues related to discrimination and exclusion, the artists speak of hope, resistance and ways of being that are empowering. Achari reiterates that the exhibition is a work-in-progress, as mounting a physical exhibition in pandemic times is influenced by multiple factors. However, the space for conversation that the exhibition and project creates is extremely necessary. This dialogue will continue to be a work-in-progress for us as a society, as we return to Guinier and Torres' statement: 'All Canaries Bear Watching. Our democratic future depends on it.'"

Review by Ranjan Kaul, artamour18th Feb 2022. 

"Taken as a whole, the exhibition compels us to revisit current art discourses, particularly in terms of the vexed relationship between art and craft practices. It projects marginality beyond victimhood and encourages the marginalized, who have been oppressed for historical reasons, to assert their identity through creative aesthetic expression."

Our Exhibtions
SAA-JNU Exhibition
all canaries bear watching
Review by Critical Collective
Anchor 1

In honour of the late Dukhushyam Chitrakar

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