The title of this exhibition is based on the main theme of ARTBAT FEST 9 – Water. The turf element refers to its basic function, which is the filtration of water by the process of natural absorption of heavy metals and other impurities.
The exhibition embodies the role of an"arena of exchange", a term coined by the French curator Nicolas Bourriaud, or an open dialogue between two very different cities – Almaty and Mumbai. The artists in Turf Water recreate Indian realities in an attempt to find an unreliable and almost non-existent balance between problems that surround water and solutions for it. Turf Water is a contemplation over the relationship between man and nature, darkened by uncertain catastrophe, pressurized by disasters and forces, arguably, beyond our control. The exhibition is trying to depict a universe in which water would be used as a political instrument in the context of modern India and, broadly, the world. It is a story of abandonment, racial, class and religious discrimination, as well as the division of sex and sexuality. Some of the artworks in the show were selected for their connection to the theme of water, pollution, and dogmas we blindly follow. Other works made reference to daily life of Dalits, their problems, for whom water has been one of the reasons for caste discrimination, as it is happening right now in the state of Kerala, India. Artists demonstrate an active social engagement in discussions of contemporary India, which is a common thread throughout the show. Turf Water is a peculiar form of realism, which emerges from an interest in archaic traditions and contemporary practices and is hoped to launch a discourse and transformation for the better future.