Punascha Parry - a title bor­rowed from the epony­mous book by the painter Nirode Mazumdar, which could be trans­lated as "a res­o­nance of Paris" - is an exhi­bi­tion con­ceived as a journey, in which archives and images come together to form a nar­ra­tive, a pos­sible memory.

The his­tory of the col­o­niza­tion of India is long and com­plex, the archives scat­tered and incom­plete - espe­cially regarding art his­tory. An obser­va­tion that Samit Das (Pernod Ricard Fellow 2017) makes as an his­to­rian and an artist, leading him to pro­pose an orig­inal map­ping of India. The exhi­bi­tion exam­ines the visual vocab­u­lary of Indian modern art in an attempt to re-eval­uate the idea of mod­ernism through the lives, works and des­tinies of Indian artists in Paris. Samit Das, revis­iting some ignored sec­tions of the artistic and intel­lec­tual life of Paris in the twen­tieth cen­tury, com­bines his works with those of Indian artists who have stayed or lived in Paris and whose tra­jec­to­ries remain ignored or unknown.

Most of the exhib­ited works have never been shown in Paris; their dis­play is the result of an inves­ti­ga­tion con­ducted by Samit Das and Sumesh Sharma (asso­ciate research curator) with wit­nesses of that time, but also their fam­i­lies, friends and fellow artists. It is there­fore aes­thetic but also polit­ical and inti­mate artic­u­la­tions that the exhi­bi­tion will show, putting into per­spec­tive the con­sti­tu­tion of a dis­course on the his­tory of art in the con­text of con­tem­po­rary Indian nation­alism of the years of struggle for inde­pen­dence.

Samit Das (1970, Jamshedpur, Inde) studied fine arts at the Santiniketan Kala Bhavan before attending a post Experience pro­gram at Camberwell College of Arts in London through a British Council Scholarship. As an artist, he spe­cial­izes in painting, pho­tog­raphy, inter­ac­tive art­works, artists’ books as well as in cre­ating multi-sen­sory envi­ron­ments through art and archi­tec­tural instal­la­tions. He also has a deep interest in archiving and doc­u­men­ta­tion, in search of a new visual vocab­u­lary through images and text. Samit Das has held sev­eral solo shows as well as group shows in India and abroad, including the United States, France and the United Kingdom. He was notably part of the Dakar Biennale, Senegal. His most recent solo shows include exhi­bi­tions with TARQ and Clark House Initiative in Mumbai and Gallery Espace in New Delhi. He has doc­u­mented the Tagore house Museum in Kolkata (1999-2001). Samit Das started his research on Santiniketan Architecture during his MFA studies, which resulted in a book titled Architecture of Santiniketan: Tagore’s con­cepts of space (Niyogy Books, Delhi). He has curated sev­eral his­tory-based exhi­bi­tions like The Idea of space and Rabindranath Tagore and Resonance of Swami Vivekananda and Art of Nandalal Bose, with sup­port by the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India. His artist’s book, Hotel New Bengal, was released in 2009 (Onestar Press, France).

In 2011 he has received the BRIC schol­ar­ship to visit Italy and in 2016 he was awarded a Research schol­ar­ship from ProHelvetia New Delhi to visit the Sitterwerk library and archive in Switzerland. He was awarded the 2017 Pernod Ricard Fellowship to work on modern Indian painters with a con­nec­tion to Paris.

Sumesh Sharma is an artist, curator & writer. He co-founded the Clark House Initiative, Bombay in 2010 where he presently is the curator. His prac­tice is informed by alter­nate art his­to­ries that often include cul­tural per­spec­tives informed by socio-eco­nomics and pol­i­tics. Immigrant Culture in the Francophone, Vernacular Equalities of Modernism, Movements of Black Consciousness in Culture are his areas of interest. He co-founded the Clark House Initiative in 2010. He will curate an exhi­bi­tion at the Showroom, London in 2018. He was invited curator to the Biennale de Dakar, Dak’Art 2016 and Checkpoint Helsinki in 2015. He has curated exhi­bi­tions at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Metropolitan Museum, New York, Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, Para Site Hong Kong, Villa Vassilieff, Paris, Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam, ISCP New York, Insert 2014, New Delhi among others. He has been a res­i­dent at the Latvian Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, Manifesta Online Residency, San Art, Vietnam, Cites des Arts, Paris, and was the ICI fellow for Senegal in 2014 where he researched how the funding mech­a­nisms in cul­ture and insti­tu­tional sup­port of art insti­tu­tions utilise the power struc­tures put in place by colo­nial laws. His artist prac­tice seeks layers through polit­ical mate­ri­ality and art his­tor­ical & the­o­ret­ical fail­ures while dis­cussing the visual. His Masters in Research at the Universite Paul Cezanne (2008) was an Inquiry into Artist Careers.