Mohile Parikh Centre for Contemporary Culture (MPC3), Bombay
March, 25th to 27th, 2005 (Opening: March, 25th, 5.30 pm)

Food, Skin and Other Baggage
Photo installation by Mamta Murty, India 2005

India has captured the imagination as an exotic travel destination for centuries, particularly that of the European traveler. The sensory and philosophical expectations in travel in India are high – perhaps because it’s spiritual, aesthetic, culinary, artistic and social differences from the world that a European understands as normal, are very many. German bakeries in India are a perfunctory frame set by me to explore the various forms, levels and shades of engagements between Europeans and Indians, particularly the travellers. Standing for all that is fine in the realm of breads, cakes etc, the concept of German bakeries has ruled in most tourist centres of India for a few decades now. Of course, like all good concepts/ brands, they have been embraced in a public/generic hug. Just as the Indian restaurants in Europe are rarely run by Indians, a German Bakery is very rarely manned by Germans anymore.

The photographic exhibition is a visual exploration of racial contact over food and commerce at these bakeries - from the fleeting transitional contact between the European traveller and Indians to the nurthured connections of a mixed parentage family together. Every relationship is reciprocal in nature - my XX and your XY, your bread and my masal omeletter, your Nazi past and my right wing present, Import Export, of course - this duality sets the rhythm for the presentation.

Mamta Murthy is an Indian artist based in Bombay (Bombay). Her media of expression are photography and filmmaking. Her projects – Beauty Sale, Courtroom and more, Art is/ India-Pakistan, 100%, Sisters Inc, Colours Black, Baghdad! Baghdad!, From India Bahut Pyar - are mainly independently undertaken and have an overriding theme of politics and contemporary response running through them. She was a Grand Prix winner at the Biennial of Moving Images, Geneva.

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