Political Animal

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Prabhakar Pachpute. Political Animal. 21 June to 4 August 2019. Curated by Viviana Checchia and inspired by the writings of Johnny Rodger.

Prabhakar Pachpute’s exhibition Political Animal, curated by Vivianna Checchia, presents a new series of works commissioned by the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), The Drouth and The Glasgow School of Art. Inspired by the contemporary fables of Johnny Rodger, Professor of Urban Literature at Glasgow School of Art. Pachpute has visualised these poetic fables in a series of drawings, including larger works drawn directly onto the gallery walls.

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Curator Viviana Checchia, conceived of the exhibition as a form of book including notes, references, research material and bibliography. Within her concept the gallery has become the book and the walls with their large drawings of fish-like creatures and bizarre bio-mechanical entities are the pages. This positions the viewer as  the reader actively involved in the unfolding narrative.

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Pachpute’s drawings present a surreal dystopian landscape partly inspired by the coal mining district in which he grew up in. As a child he witnessed the green farmlands around his home being sold off and transformed into coal mines and saw his own brother and grandfather go from farmers to miners.

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Perhaps Pachpute’s use of charcoal is symbolic of the blackening of the once green landscape of his youth and this, intertwined with Rodger’s anthropomorphic animals who speak to the changing world around us questioning our place within it, creates an immersive narrative journey  that encompasses, philosophy, politics and social science.

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This show was part of a two day event presented with the same title, Political Animal, and focused on the phenomenon of the Contemporary City. The term dates back to Aristotle who declared that humans were political animals due to our need to construct and systematise our place within society.

The Glasgow School of Art and the Centre for the Contemporary Arts (CCA) invited a collection of international artists, writers, performers, academics, musicians, dancers and activists from all over the globe to come together on the 21st & 22nd of June 2019. Click here for more information and free tickets via the CCA.

Supported by  Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Centre for Contemporary Arts , Creative Scotland, The Drouth, The Glasgow School of Art, Erasmus+ Programme, Esmee Fairbairn foundation,  Leverhulme International Network of Contemporary Studies, Leverhulme Trust, Official Development Assistance fund, Presidenza del Consiglio del Ministri- Dipartimento della Gioventù e del servizio civile nazionale, Prince Claus Fund for Culture & Development, Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities and Vessel.

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