“Fantasy of having a trailer wagon all to myself”
Thursday 4th to Friday 19th February 2021
Curated by Tatiana de Stempel & GALLERY46
Private View: TBC
Exhibition dates: Thursday 4th – Friday 19th February 2021
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 12-6pm
Sunday 11 -5pm
Workshop by Bangladeshi British band Khiyo – Date TBC
Roshan Chhabria and Stephaine Douet
Sophie de Stempel
Tatiana de Stempel
This group show whose cultural mix of artists from the UK, India and Bangladesh has come together to celebrate the life of Manoj Nair and his contribution to arts and culture and to garner a wider understanding.
Manoj Nair was an Indian journalist, critic, curator and writer who tragically died in Cohin in June 2019. Manoj was closely associated with Kochi Murziris Biennale and was the editorial director for the 2018 -19 edition. Manoj Nair played a part in bringing the work of Indian artists, local and international artists to a wider audience.
“Fantasy of having a trailer wagon all to myself” originates from a personal email written by Manoj Nair to introduce his book on childhood train journeys.
The show is about excess and death and examines the effect of excess as a probable death drive. Along with the process it looks to see how displacement and gender factors enhance one’s vulnerability towards excess as a death drive and how excess becomes the trailer wagon of fantasy that’s engined by ennui and nihilism whilst descending to the valley of death.
Artists have the desire to create and the opposite of creation is destruction. What is on the other side of life? What does death have to offer us – something or nothing? Hindus believe that the soul passes through a cycle of successive lives and its next incarnation depends on their karma. Dante wrote the Divine Comedy that explored his own version of the afterlife.
We invited artists to imagine and explore what lies beyond death for this exhibition that pays homage to Manoj. The following raises some key cultural ideas and convictions evoked by this matter of death and beyond.
Lacan worked with the concept of transgressing the pleasure principle, which is not about more pleasure, but pain, since there is only a certain amount of pleasure the subject can bear. Beyond this limit, pleasure becomes pain and this is the ‘painful principle’ and what Lacan calls Jouissance, Lacan linked Jouisssance to the aggression of the death drive. Jouissance as described by Lacan as excess and Jouissance becomes deathly when one is addicted to excess pleasure: this is Lacan’s phallic theory.
Hélène Cixous, the Post -structuralist feminist philosopher, sees Jouissance as a form of women’s pleasure that combines mental, physical and spiritual aspects of female experience, bordering on mystical communion that takes pleasure in being limitless. Limitlessness is not subject to phallic law and its boundaries as it is located in the entire body.
The artist Sophie Calle’s book Exquisite Pain tells a visual story of how she was abandoned by her lover and the exorcising of the pain she felt.
Freud wrote a book called Beyond the Pleasure Principle where he describes human beings as struggling between two opposing drives: Eros which produces creativity, harmony, sexual connection, reproduction, and self-preservation; and Thanatos, which brings destruction, repetition, aggression, compulsion, and self-destruction
We have gods, which have these dualities and are both creative and destructive such as Dionysus and Kali, in India. In Mexico they celebrate Dia de los Muertos (The day of the dead) when Mexicans come to celebrate friends and family who have died and to help them on their spiritual journey; they see death as part of the human cycle.