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‘Visions from India’ sees through cultural boundaries

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Pictured is an untitled piece by Subodh Gupta, which is a moving sushi lunch box conveyer belt. Credit: Olivia Balcerzak | Lantern Reporter

Columbus will get a window into Indian culture in a new exhibit.

On Friday, the Pizzuti Collection will bring the artwork of 26 Indian artists to Columbus in its exhibition, “Visions from India.”  

Ron Pizzuti, founder of the Pizzuti Collection, said the hospitality he experienced in his two-week trip to India despite the country’s poverty inspired the idea of the collection, resulting in an exhibition he predicts to be a huge hit.

“I think this one is going to be a blockbuster,” Pizzuti said

According to a press release by the Pizzuti Collection, the exhibition will include artwork from 21st century artists, as well as an accompanying exhibition by Francis Newton Souza — a 20th century artist who is said to be one of the most important painters of his time.

The artwork in the Pizzuti Collection belongs to Ron and Ann Pizzuti, who created the nonprofit organization in the Short North.

Philip Kim, marketing and communications coordinator and 2007 OSU alumnus in English and comparative studies, said that while collectors typically keep artwork in their houses, the Pizzutis have chosen to give back to the community through exhibitions such as “Visions From India.”

“The mission of the Pizzuti collection is to share those pieces that Ron and Ann have collected to the general public,” Kim said. “(Visions from India) is a good opportunity for Columbus, as a community around us, to see some of these works that may otherwise not be shown.”

Greer Pagano, one of the curators and 2013 OSU alumna with a doctorate in history of art, said the exhibition also will serve as a space for people to appreciate India and its culture.

“Along with the artwork, this is going to be a year of celebration of the Indian culture,” Pagano said.

The exhibition also will host special events throughout the year, including artist talks, poetry nights, talks with scholars from OSU and musical performances.

Pagano said the artwork in the collection — created by an equal number of male and female artists — addresses universal questions by bringing about social issues faced by people in their day-to-day lives.

However, while the collection may be called “Visions From India,” the social issues represented in the exhibition far exceed cultural and geographical boundaries, Kim said.  

“Part of our goal with this exhibition is to show that whether you’re from India or a different geographic location, most humans experience the same challenges and the same kind of feelings about how they are situated in the world,” Kim said. “All the issues that the artists in this exhibition are dealing with are issues that everyone has experienced or are concerned about.”

The release further stated that these issues include religion, the environment, colonialism and technology.

For Pagano, pinpointing which art piece speaks to which issue may be, in part, subject to the viewer.

“A lot of the experience is what you think coming to it,” Pagano said. “For me (the exhibit) is a total girl-power thing.”

Pagano particularly noted the “Room of Adornment” in the exhibition, which she said addresses the ways which women are told to look to make them more beautiful. This message is conveyed through the use of unusual material — such as fake eyelashes and Bindis — to make the sculptures or paintings.

But the unusual material might not be the only twist that is expected to move an audience, Kim said. The exhibition will also contain elements and sculptures that move — a feature he said he expects will be popular.

“Most people think of art as paintings or static sculptures,” Kim said. “Using kinetic motion and these engineered pieces that move and offer some kind of unique aspect to them are probably going to catch people’s attention.”

Kim particularly noted an untitled piece by Sudarshan Shetty, using aluminum-cast dog skeletons with security cameras inside of them, projecting the footage on the wall behind them.

“It’s pretty playful, but at the same time, kind of dark and reflecting on the modern times and the paranoia we all experience with surveillance and being constantly watched over,” Kim said.

“Visions From India” will open Friday and remain open to the public until Oct. 28. The Pizzuti Collection is located at 632 N. Park St., across the street from Goodale Park. Admission is free to all students with a BuckID.

Correction March 9: A previous version of this article said Ron Pizzuti is the president of the Pizzuti Collection, when he is in fact the founder. 

One comment

  1. Regarding the picture, that is NOT a “moving sushi lunch box conveyer belt” ! Those are multiple dabbas, or tiffins, containing homemade meals that are delivered by dabbawalas (deliverers) from workers’ homes to their offices in many Indian cities. It is surprisingly efficient and you can read about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dabbawala. Indians don’t eat sushi.

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