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Mithun Das
Five Million Incidents

About the Actant

Mithun Das © Mithun Das © Mithun Das Repercussions of traumatic experiences and fetishes resulting out of it become a repository for expressive imageries and actions in the works of Mithun Das. His works are expressions in different mediums evolving out of his practice and stay in Vadodara. Mithun completed his Bachelors degree from The Indian College of Arts and Draftsmanship, Kolkata (2011) and his Masters from Kala Bhavana, Santiniketan (2014). He has participated in various exhibitions, including Knowing in Ply Gallery, London (2017), Cima Award Show (2017) and Translation (Emergent Art Space), Kolkata (2016). Residencies include Space118 Mumbai, India (upcoming 2020), Space Studio, Baroda, India, (2017) and Khoj Peers (2015). He has been the recipient of Inlaks Fine Arts Award (2016), 46th Annual Birla Academy Art and Culture (2013). Mithun carries with him memories of violence that took place in and around his village in West Bengal. Brought up in an area where murder and threat was an everyday affair, his early works were sadistic expressions hinting at the nightmares of mutilated images and marks. His recent works create myriad visual expressions citing various events, objects and bodies involved in violence. In these works, he looks at oppressions, exploitations and pain as well as the normalisation of those experiences.

Pre-Inflict Phase © Mithun Das © Mithun Das A certain verbal threat, “Khal  khiche nebo”, insinuates peeling of the skin by flogging shadowed by an entire history of acts of penalty that reaches deep into the memory of hierarchic violence. The works ideated as ‘Pre Inflict Phase’ will explore this violence on skin itself – those that are torn from the bodies of animals. The leather itself signifies the literal actuation of the verbal threat but here scraps of leather become an apt field of the artists experience and expression. Two videos, one about the process of raw skin and how the natural shaped raw leather bring to the fore the allegory that is inherent in the physicality of violence; the other video is documentation of cultivated fields, specifically Mithun's hometown recalling the hierarchic violence and the animalistic pursuance of power in relation to land arrogation so rooted in the collective memory.