Talk dirty to me! Gandi Baat exhibit at 47A by Swarup Dutta is a jolting take on India’s political fabric

MAY 13, 2024 | By Megha Sapre
The Crossword tosses a random yet crucial selection of words regarding the current political scenario

Caution! Bold visual cues can trigger unphased, blunt political opinions. Swarup Dutta’s Gandi Baat exhibit at 47A Gallery in Khotachiwadi, Mumbai is a political commentary through versatile works of art at its boldest. Swarup is an educator who juggles between different artistic forms like photography and scenography whilst advocating for indigenous arts and crafts. He also contributes to heritage art restoration in Kolkata with site-specific art installations with his noteworthy Calcutta Bungalow project recognised by Kohler Bold Design Awards 2018.

The tall wooden Coat Rack installation casts a striking shadow and the piece in entirety has an effective underlying message


The blank faces and occupied minds of political agendas, wooden art installations craft a visual imagery for devoted supporters of political parties

Reeling back to the present; Gandi Baat does not hold back from presenting strong witty takes on the political fabric of India and evokes some unsettling questions as one moves from one art piece to another featuring sculptures, wooden block installations, wooden carved art pieces highlighting the importance of farmers, paintings with caricatures and wearable art in the form kurtas.

The exhibit comes at a crucial time as India gets engulfed in the many rallies and political discourses as nationwide elections for 2024 are contested. Swarup along with the likes of 14 designers and creative leaders curated the exhibit, which true to its name, might have a few spectators finding his ideas rather bold and blunt. 

The caricatures portray the many faces and colours of politics in India
The inverted Taj Mahal-like display features wooden blocks of varying patterns carefully aligned


The exhibit hints at the foreseeable future of the voting masses suggesting what they could be dwelling into as they extend support to the many ideologies of the many political parties. Gandi Baat features art pieces around the many mottos, ideologies and beliefs hailed by the political parties in India. The exhibit also highlights issues that directly affect the working middle class by incorporating thought provoking pieces.

A wasteful resource:

 The LPG gas cylinders converted into piggy banks showcase the rising prices of bare necessities and the struggles that come along with burning a hole in the commoners’ pockets to afford monthly essentials.

LPG cylinders as money banks are a gaslighting visual trigger for the spectators

The cost of unhinged faith:

 A faceless human head crowned with party symbols is a triggering piece, evoking questions like when and where a supporter draws a line between supporting and devoting themselves to a political party.

The wooden sculpture tries to replicate political figures and is a fine-tuned piece showcasing top-notch craftsmanship

The power of scattered words: 

A Crossword mat with puffy hidden yet direct words sets the tone for many underlying messages and stances. while a rug with extreme slogans and ideologies, shed light on the agendas set by many political parties.

The Crossword tosses a random yet crucial selection of words regarding the current political scenario

With design activism at the heart of this exhibition, Gandi Baat exhibit featuring the work of Abhishek Ray, Achira Basu, Ashish Ghosh, Bazlur Rahaman, Meenakshi Sengupta, Phalguni Samanta, Samir Roy, Sanjita Sarkar, Shohini Gupta, Soumitra Adhikari, Sumanta Chakroborty, Tamal Bhattacharya, Tulu Sarkar, and Vivek Kumar will be up and showcasing from the 4th of May till the 2nd of June 2024.

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