House of Fear

House of Fear

Sarnath Banerjee’s phantoms follow Shweta Upadhyay.

Sarnath Banerjee. Spectral Times.

Sarnath Banerjee. Spectral Times. Audio installation. 2019.
Sound Installation: Ish Sherawat.
Sound Production and Spatialisation: Sound Reasons. Voices: Vidyun Singh, Saranendu Chaki, Sarnath Banerjee.
2019. Image courtesy the artist.

From the 23rd of February to the 26th of May, Sarnath Banerjee converted parts of Bhau Daji Lad (BDL) Museum, Mumbai, into a haunted place. His show Spectral Times, comprising a series of paintings and audio installations in the form of fictional and make-believe radio interviews, investigated the presence of the otherworldly and supernatural in the city. The premise of the exercise was to support the “conjecture that beneath the visible city there lies a phantom one.” It caused dread and anxiety on a sunny afternoon visit. The museum felt like a house of fear.

Curated by Tasneem Zakaria Mehta with Himanshu Kadam, the exhibition was part of the museum’s decade-long series, Engaging Traditions, which invites contemporary artists to engage with its archives and history. This show released several fugitive ghosts and their buried secrets.