Anupam’s artistic process and conception traces the history of artistic propaganda and partisanship in various parts of the world, starting from the woodcut prints of Albrecht Durer which disseminated faith in the medieval world, to modern and contemporary political posters which embody socialist political belief. His large drawings done in black ink on paper, often executed in collaborative site-specific projects or in the Communist Party office, of which he is an active member, gets a varied audience through different display modes: street shows, protest campaigns and through reproduction in pamphlets, as posters etc. before entering the white-cube gallery space, which Anupam also tries to subvert and question through his non-hierarchical display strategies.
To quote Anupam– “The book Weaving Labyrinth and the performative video work called Locust Re-View presents top India and World 21 Headlines in the time of Lockdown, 2020 is a compilation of the archival traces and testimonies, through which one might get a sense of ‘this’ particular historical moment or ‘our’ contemporary location. Intention to make such composition also seeks to decode the present pandemic, unravelling the ‘new world order’ where the disintegration of public spheres and civic rights, increasing authoritarian rule and surveillance, are naturalised more than ever.” At a time, when media houses and news agencies tend to become slavish propagators of the dominant state ideology, Anupam emerges as counter-propagandist voice, expressing what he is witnessing while at the same time revisiting suppressed ‘moments’ in the history of struggle for equality.
Anupam Roy received his Bachelor of Fine Art in Painting from Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidyalaya, West Bengal (2008) and his postgraduate degree in Visual Art from Ambedkar University, New Delhi (2016). He received the Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarship (2019) for my second master’s degree from De Montfort University, UK. For more than a decade, he has been a part of different leftist political and social movements in my capacities as a campaigner, organiser, and propagandist. They enable him to self-reflectively approach his artistic practice and sociological location, creating a space for more discursive and collective engagements questioning the presuppositions of contemporary art and politics.