In her solo exhibition Garb-Age, transdisciplinary artist Shraddha Borawake (Pune, India) turns our attention towards what she describes as “(OUR) global mess,” as she scavenges trash, baggage and discarded elements, both material and mental, imbued with meaning from science, spirituality and art.
Through a combination of photography, video, performance, sculpture and playful dialog, Borawake formulates acute questions regarding the relations between various forms of knowledge and belief, within in a post-colonial, post-global context.
Garb-Age is also the title of Borawake’s larger ongoing project, in which discarded objects intersect with epistemology. As such, a significant element of her solo exhibition consists of installations made from her collection of curated garbage. Arranged as what the artist describes as “ritual landscapes,” each assemblage recounts a story of how humans have constructed interrelated systems to understand the world around them. Interacting with these curious objects may infer implications on scientific and artistic levels.
One example of such engagement is her Vernacular Tableaux Series, a video series in which she invites women to assemble shrines from her collection. In the first edition, named This Beautiful Venus Trap Earth Body, Dutch ritual artist Eline Bochem was invited to collaborate. As Bochem builds, arranges and negotiates the found objects from Borawake’s collection, the two artists discuss the topic of divine femininity from different cultural contexts.
As a whole, Borawake’s collection of scavenged objects can be viewed as an inverted postcolonial postmodern Wunderkammer, offering a vast, complex and fractured image of humanity in times of global crises, its pieces inviting narratives of trust and empathy, instead of conquest and dominion.
It is in this way, that Borawake may move the viewer to contemplate the tiniest insect through to vast themes concerning knowledge, belief, awareness and the planetary condition.