Salzburg 2002, Photo by Michaela Landwehr
Mithu Sen performs conceptual and interactive multi format byproducts which include drawing, poetry, moving images, sculptures, installations, sound and others. Her practice manifests human interactions, employing the medium of life to actualize her art production. She constantly (un)defines concepts and their functioning with regard to acceptable modes of interactions, questioning pre-codified hierarchies that define social performance of roles, politics of tabooed identity that marks the other and the plethora of constructs that actualize human existence as a reality. Through radical hospitality, lingual anarchy, counter capitalism, untaboo sexuality and unmonolith identity; the artist persistently explores the void of inbetweeness, where (un)constructs dwell, waiting to be (un)realised.
Mithu Sen is a an earth based (New Delhi, India) artist/poet who studied painting at Kala Bhavan ,Visva Bharati, Santiniketan, India and Glasgow School of Art, UK.
Mithu Sen plays. She messes. She creates.
her practice revolves around creating situations of impossible possibility.
She lets strangeness and strangers in, radically, hospitably.
In doing this she questions the boundaries of hospitality; identifies them, embodies them, inhabits them- and then
refutes and ignores them. Breaking them apart from within.
Mithu Sen dislikes the word “medium.” She 'life's .
Sen’s practice centres her constant need to be expressive in limitless ways; in ways that are counter to limits; that deny them. Her work involves the use of blank space-- her detailed drawings highlight the otherwise unseen, and parody or dismiss what our eyes are used to catching.
Sen has accessories/tools that extend and include her bodymind. She draws, creates videos, and sculptures.
She performs. Her performances have elements of sound and movement and writing.
Her practice converses and responds; and is therefore constantly adapting itself; it shapeshifts from one medium to another. People are sparked to reflect on several realms and layers of thinking and questioning in her work, including:
(Untaboo) sexuality, (unmonolith) identity, Radical hospitality (guest-host-hospitality-tolerance) Counter capitalism, and lingual anarchy Her journey critiques subtle hierarchical codes and hegemony;
Mithu’s work lives in the spaces between when Humanity becomes minority (sexual, political, regional, emotional, lingual...).
Blending fact and fiction, self-reflective, playful and bold- a macabre sense of humor punctuates her work with deeper psychoanalytic readings that tie into our subconscious thoughts. Sen‘s intuitive, free-spirited practice invites viewers into her own personal psyche and streams of consciousness. The complexities of the body in its physical, banal, erotic and sexless form features through different works. A lot of her works deal with the Self as a matrix of identities- a route taken by Sen to question our social values and to (unmonolith) the exhausted Identity, breaking on its way societal norms.
Swinging between distance and intimacy, Mithu makes the private public by engaging the spectators into a game of active voyeurism.
She has not only opened the barrier of intimacy to public space, her works also highlight the increasing importance of the interaction with the public, as a part of the production of the artistic experience.
The usage of (uncodified) subconscious language as a form of resistance against the dominating languages, has led Sen to create an abstract body of gibberish text that claims repressed emotional voices and a potential moment of lingual anarchy. Her work also engages with the idea of radical hospitality with an aim to generate a concurrent dialogue between the guest and the host. It approaches to deconstruct the institutional space and question/redefine the imposed etiquettes on hospitality.
She has held solo exhibitions at Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna, Austria; Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan USA; Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Brussels, Belgium; Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris; Gallery Steph, Singapore; Louis Vuitton Espace, Taipei; Albion Gallery, London; Suzie Q project, Zurich; Krinzinger Project, Vienna; Nature Morte, New Delhi and Berlin; Bose Pacia Gallery, New York; Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai; Lakeeren Gallery, Mumbai; Machintosh Gallery, Glasgow and the British Council, New Delhi.
Sen has participated and exhibited her work in many Indian and international museums, biennales and galleries, some of them include Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum & Asia Society Museum, USA; Queens Museum, New York; TATE Modern, London; Albertina Museum, Vienna; S.M.A.K Museum, Gent, Belgium; Palais De Tokyo, Paris; Beirut Exhibition Centre, Beirut; Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth; Castelvecchio Museum, Verona, Italy; Gaungdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China; Art-Science Museum, Singapore; Kenpoku Art, Japan; Dhaka Art Summit, Dhaka; Bozar Museum, Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels; The Luxe Museum, Singapore; Kastrupgårdsamlingen Museum, Copenhagen; Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi; Art Basel Unlimited, Switzerland; Mediations Biennale, Poznan, Poland; Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India; Colombo Art Biennale, Sri Lanka; Gallery Continua, France; Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; Eastside project space, Birmingham, UK; IVAM, Valencia, Spain; Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi; Kunst Museum, Berne; Daimler Chrysler Collection, Berlin; Brandies University, Boston; Museum of Modern Art (MOMAT) Tokyo; Goethe Institute, Salvador, Brazil; Lausanne Museum, Berne, Switzerland; and SOMA Museum, Seoul.
She has been awarded with Prudential Eye Award for contemporary Asian art in drawing 2015 and Skoda award on best Indian contemporary art for the year 2010