Peeling back the layers of Mithu Sen’s unique brand of art
Mithu Sen kicked off 2018 with her audaciously titled UnMYthU at Chemould Prescott Road in Mumbai. It had elements of the five tenets of her practice: lingual anarchy, untaboo sexuality, radical hospitality, counter capitalism and unmonolith identity. “By deconstructing her name, UnMYthU celebrates the self-mythologising potential of Sen’s work, but also draws the viewer—viewing from ‘MY’ to ‘U’—into a transactional matrix,” wrote art critic Somak Ghoshal. UnMYthU was on display from January to March 2018. Between August and September 2018, she played on her name once more for her solo, Mit i sny (Myth and Dreams) at City Gallery Arsenal, in Poznan, Poland. From April to October, Sen’s Museum Of Unbelongings (2018) was part of Facing India at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, which featured six Indian women artists. This work purports the notion of a democratic museum of marginalised things, making do without labels and hierarchies, thus equalising the cultural currency of the found and collected objects it contains. Mid- November, Sen left for Brisbane in Australia, where she will deliver a performance lecture at the ninth edition of the Asia Pacific Triennale against the backdrop of her UnMYthU: UnKIND(s) Alternatives 2018 series of large-scale drawings on handmade Kozo paper, together with diagrams, instructions, directions, and contracts, and an Alexa device, consciously hinting at the myth of artificial intelligence.