Experimenter presents Museum Menageries, a solo by Prabhakar Pachpute, with works on paper that picture human workers and machine hybrids, through which Pachpute speaks to the ongoing complexity of historical transformations on an economic, societal and environmental stage, surreal conflations of engineering, humans and animals performing repetitive and debased labour. The works are populated by characters that have inhabited, inspired and invigorated Pachpute through myriad experiences that have come to him through stories and local proverbs of farmers and miners from all over the world, becoming central to his visual and mental landscape.
Prabhakar Pachpute (b. 1986 Sasti, Chandrapur lives and works in Pune, India) works in an array of mediums and materials including drawing, light, stop-motion animations, sound and sculptural forms. His use of charcoal has a direct connection to his subject matter and familial roots, coal mines and coal miners. Pachpute often creates immersive and dramatic environments in his site-specific works, using portraiture and landscape with surrealist tropes to critically tackle issues of mining labour and the effects of mining on the natural and human landscape. Using Maharashtra as a starting point, the artist combines research from around the world and personal experiences, moving from the personal to the global investigating the complexity of historical transformations on an economic, societal and environmental level.
Pachpute received his Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in sculpture from Indira Kala Sangit University, Khairagarh (Chhattisgarh, 2009) and his MFA from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (Gujrat, 2011). He has exhibited extensively with solo shows at Clark House Initiative, Mumbai (2012); Experimenter, Kolkata (2013, 2017 & 2020); National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai (2016); Asilo Via Porpora, Milan (2018); and Glasgow School of Art (2019). He has also participated in group exhibitions at Van Abbe museum, Eindhoven (2013); Kadist Art Foundation, Paris (2013); IFA, Stuttgart & Berlin (2013); DRAF, London (2014); MACBA, Barcelona (2015); Parasite, Hong Kong (2017); Asia Cultural Centre, Gwangju (2017); STUK, Leuven (2018); AV Festival, Newcastle (2018); and was part of the 31st São Paulo Biennial (2014); 5th Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial (2014); 14th Istanbul Biennial (2015); 8th Asia Pacific Triennial, Brisbane (2015); and Dhaka Art Summit (2018); 2nd Yinchuan Biennale (2018) and the 4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2018), Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai (2019), 3rd Industrial Art Biennale (2020), Artes Mundi 9, Cardiff (2021), Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2021), Kunsthalle Bratislava (2021). Pachpute was awarded the Artes Mundi 9 Prize in 2021.