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Cracow: Prabhakar Pachpute & Rupali Patil

January 28, 2017 - June 18, 2017




Opening: January 27th, 2017 (Friday), 6PM
Curators: Lidia Krawczyk, Magdalena Ziółkowska
Coordinators: Vera Zalutskaya, Dorota Bucka
Location: Ground floor


On January 27th, 2017, Bunkier Sztuki will open its first exhibition of Prabhakar Pachpute and Rupali Patil. The works of these artists were exhibited at Biennales in Istanbul and São Paulo or the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. The duo will look at the industrial exploitation of nature and its consequences for nature and man. The exposition will be preceded by the artists’ visit in Lesser Poland and Upper Silesia.In spatial installations, animations, sculptures, and mostly coal-made drawings Prabhakar Pachpute returns to his familiar world of mines and stories heard in childhood. The artist was born and grew up in Chandrapur (Maharashtra), nicknamed “the city of black gold”. His family has been working in one of India’s oldest coalmines for three generations; his grandfather was forced to sell his farm and land and seek employment at the mine. He became a miner, and his was paid with lumps of coal and kerosene. “There was no other choice – when a few farmers sold their land, the others had to follow. The pollution from coal excavation was so great it made farming impossible,” says Pachpute.The event that caused Pachpute to decide to make mines and the life of people who work there the subject of his art was the tragedy of thirty Chilean miners, trapped underground for seventy days. The artist compared this situation to a similar one but closer to him: “The entire world cared about their fate. A similar accident happened in Chandrapur, but almost nobody heard about that.” Pachpute is interested not only in the working conditions of mine workers. The recurring theme of his works are psychological consequences of working underground – a claustrophobic, fearful space.Pachpute usually collaborates with Rupali Patil, a graphics creator, author of installations and objects, who is also very interested in social issues. In her works, the artist deals with such subjects as corruption or abuse of authority against citizens of India. She also depicts destitute farmers from areas that became industrialized. An imaginary, geographically unspecified world of Patil is inhabited by workers who became one with their working tools, but also owls, mammoths, and locust.The exhibition will be preceded by the artists’ monthly residency, during which Pachpute and Patill will look at the Polish mining industry. However, it is not just the industry that inspires them – it is the manner in which coal functions in society, including its cultural significance. Thus, the artists devote their attention to mine closures, the cultivation of mining traditions, the living conditions of miners, and finally – the role of women in mines. It is them – the female miners – who became the eponymous harbingers of chaos.The exhibition is a result of these artistic endeavours. “We thought of it as a conversation between two artists and two entirely different countries. We are very curious how will Indian artists react to their experiences in Poland,” adds Lidia Krawczyk, one of the curators.

Prabhakar Pachpute and Rupali Patill will commence their artistic residency on December 21st, 2016.



PRABHAKAR PACHPUTE (born in 1986 in Chandrapur) became an artist even though his relatives worked at a mine. He graduated from the Sculpture Department of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayaijaro University of Baroda (2011). Pachpute’s works have been displayed during such exhibitions as Black and White (Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2013), How to (…) things that don’t exist exposition (as part of the 31st São Paulo Biennale, 2014), and the 14th Istanbul Biennale (2015). He lives and works in Mumbai and Pune.

RUPALI PATIL (born in 1984 in Pune) creates graphics, artistic objects, and installations. She graduated from the Graphics Department of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayaijaro University of Baroda (2011). She usually collaborates with Prabhakar Pachpute, creating site-specific installations that tackle the themes of agrarian cultures and global social problems, such as the marginalization of indigenous communities and tribes, suicides of farmers, and exclusion. Her works were presented during the 14th Istanbul Biennale (2015) and the Kamarado exhibition (Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 2015).

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