Lost in Transition

The Harrington Street Arts Centre is delighted to present Lost in Transition, an exhibition on the forgotten art of letter writing, curated by Avijit Dutta in collaboration with Calcutta Arts Club and The Samilton. This exhibition proposes to provide a platform for the next generation to understand the subjectivities involved in the experience of writing a letter, and also be an ensemble of the journeys and insights of the floating distribution of thoughts and perceptions of the 37 artists across India who have experienced ‘the transition’.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a visual documentation in the form of a book entitled Lost in Transition with an essay on the subject, and ‘epistolary narratives’, featuring the handwritten letters of the participating artists which are either in their native language or in an idiom they are most comfortable with. It will also have the images of the letter boxes and the postcards from the artists across India.

With the invention and expansion of the telegraph in the mid- nineteenth century, the writing of letters became less important and the outpour of emotions in a letter eventually subsided. Locally known as ‘taar’, the service was frequently used to send out a news/message to the concerned person in minimum possible words, devoid of any emotions. Since the economical part played a vital role in it, it got replaced by something faster and less expensive in course of time with the introduction of high-end technology in India, it was ultimately laid to rest in 2013. Here, the process of sharing thoughts and ideas through a letter got subsided during the ‘transition’.