"State/Being" by Poonam Jain

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(from Burden of Proof series)
Drawings on paper
26 x (5.8 x 8.3 in) each
2019 - ongoing

About the artwork

What is a State? What is the State? Who is the State?

Lines that float across the papers, are mind's imaginary boundaries, termed as maps and peripheries by the state. 

What is the proof of existence? What is the unit of being? How many units and how many identities do we have to prove and how many times and to whom? The beast of the state asks of you time and again. Being a being, stuck between bureaucratic entanglements of the states. 

Stories of such lives was narrated in a report on NHRC Mission to Assam’s detention centers from 22 to 24 January, 2018.

About the artist

Poonam Jain (b. 1989) works with drawing and installation to highlight the structures that undergird the fields of pedagogy, economy and architecture. Jain has often turned to acts of counting and measurement that serve as rituals or determine the distribution of power in society at large and within the micro unit of the family. Through these overlapping interests, Jain has recurrently addressed the function of language and how it is used to order the world, exploring the possibilities of creating a gap between symbols and their meanings. Currently, Jain is researching the history of letterpress printing in South Asia, through support from the India Foundation for the Arts (2022-23), with an emphasis on the consolidation and exclusion of scripts and languages that took place over time.

Jain was a member of the Clark House Initiative, Mumbai, from 2011 to 2016. Her work has been shown in group exhibitions at Sapar Contemporary, New York, 2017; New Gallery, Paris, 2016; INSERT 2014, New Delhi; Gdanska Galeria Miejska 2, Poland, 2014; MKG127, Canada, 2014; Kadist Art Foundation, Paris2013. She has had solo exhibitions at Art Dubai with 1x1 art gallery in 2018, at Clark House Initiative, Mumbai in 2014, and at 1X1 Art Gallery, Dubai in 2014. Jain lives and works in Mumbai.

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