Kolkata-based curator Abhijan Toto presents a curatorial project that marks the culmination of the series of artistic interrogations titled The Exhaustion Project, in which he probes the relationship between labor, self-care, and the exhausted body with artists Eglė Budvytytė (LT, NL), Alisa Chunchue (TH), Jessika Khazrik (LB), Sarah Naqvi (IN), and Anna Ridler (GB). The project examines what potential for subversion becomes imaginable and accessible through communal exhaustion.
During Toto’s mentorship with curator David Elliott, in the category Looking, their discussions revolved around the concept of power, how it might be approached under different cultural and political conditions, and what subversion might mean in various contexts. What happens when political actions influence each other and coalesce? Out of these considerations, the notion of entanglement became the central concern for the curatorial project: Despite working in a variety of media and different practices, each participating artist proposes a model of the body as already entangled with human and nonhuman others.
By casting the body as something that is not singular but rather entangled, the artists in the show conjure new possibilities of being and moving in multitudes to create an alternative score for performing the present. Within the curatorial project, the works mutate into an investigation of modes of acting from this position, and producing a space of agency beyond exhaustion through intimacy and care.
The Exhaustion Project is supported by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Mondriaan Fund, the Lithuanian Culture Institute, the Goethe-Institut London, the Goethe-Institut Max Mueller Bhavan Kolkata, the Goethe-Institut Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai, and the British Council.