Amol K Patil is a conceptual and performance artist. His work attempts to recapture the vibrating movement and sound of the ‘chawl’ architecture in which he grew up. A form of social housing for mill and factory workers built in the early 1900s – where many tenements fit together, verandahs connect every door, the gossiping voices from dimly lit tables under which men gather to play carom, the man with a walking stick, the sound of termites eating into wood, wedding festivities, and rhythmically creaking beds. Patil has shown at the Pune Biennale (2017); New Galerie in Paris (2016); Dakar Biennale, (2016); Myymälä2, Helsinki, (2015); Japan Foundation, Delhi, (2015); Stedelijk Museum Bureau in Amsterdam (2014), International Artists Initiated, Glasgow, (2014); Video Art Festival, Lagos, (2014); Para Site, Hong Kong, (2014); Art Dubai Projects, (2014); Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, (2013); and the Transnational Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, (2013).
Amol’s recent work What is Human Becomes Animal deals with situations faced by sanitary workers in Bombay, their working conditions and caste discrimination, that persists even today. With extreme working conditions, they often succumb to disease and alcohol abuse, necessary to overcome the smells and degradation endured daily. Through discrimination and inequality, what is labour? In Gaze Under your Skin, Amol goes from micro to macro, looking at the humblest forms of labour, the workers dwarfed by scaffolding. A tribute to the unnamed heroes of the ever-growing megalopolis, questioning the aftermath of centralised urbanisation.