‘Amol Patil was invited in 2012 to perform at the 'World Event for Young Artists’ Festival in Nottingham, sponsored by the Arts Council England. Despite an entirely funded invitation his visa was rejected for he was seen as a high-risk economic migrant who might overstay his visa to seek employment illegally, for he lacked sufficient funds in his bank account.
Amol Patil was nudged into becoming an artist by my elder brother Jagdish, a civil engineer, who believed art was a path to emancipation. Jagdish, has been fighting an unending lawsuit aimed at ending caste discrimination that he faces at the municipal corporation. The act of invitation and subsequent rejection, the barrier to travel he faces hinders his career, and believes it is akin to the class barrier his brother faces. He presents a performance as a tribute to the efforts of his brother, presenting his views on visas and travel.
Lokmanya Tilak revived the annual festival of Ganesha in order to instill the idea of socio-political discourse amongst the larger populace and since then the Ganpathy festival in Bombay has included institutional critique within its scope of objectives. Shri Sai Mitra Mandal, Regal Cinema, established in 1984, an organisation of young men living on Wodehouse road granted Amol Patil permission to hold the performance in the space beside their pandal (makeshift temple) on the street.’ (From the exhibition essay.)
Under the gaze of the 300 or so passersby who gathered, Amol wrapped himself with the objects he had packed, unpacked and re-packed over the last few weeks, mimicking the machines spewing plastic at airports, used to wrap suitcases. Once he had left himself barely any airspace, he walked stiffly and heavily, with all he was carrying, passport wrapped tightly across his face, to the gallery, where he began to cut himself out of his hot imprisonment of heavy sentiment, with a pair of tiny blunt, metal scissors. Once free, he stared at the cast of his body that had accommodated all these objects, and stared at them, for almost too long, then he gave the slightest nod, and left the room.
- Sumesh Sharma and Zasha Colah