[Tender Buttons & a] Bellyache, curated by Shristi Sainani

[Tender Buttons & a] Bellyache, curated by Shristi Sainani

[Tender Buttons & a] Bellyache

Curated by Shristi Sainani

Date: 15th April - 2nd July, 2023

When it is said to ‘stop bellyaching’ they mean, to cease complaining about something that seems unreasonable or unjustified. Actions, intentions, words and dilemmas are deliberately caged, trapped in layers between sediments. They turn to secrets, veil, endless pits of rubble that turn heavy. The gut feels full, then again, there is a bellyache — an ache to reveal, an ache to set free, an ache to unravel the hidden bits which make the very foundation of (a) being.

The exhibition [Tender buttons, and a] Bellyache looks towards texts by poet Gertrude Stein and philosopher Simone de Beauvoir. Gertrude Stein’s poem, ‘Tender Buttons’ was radical in a sense that it was where words and objects merged. Autonomy was granted to make meanings. Similarly, de Beauvoir’s Second Sex actively shunned assigned constructs which are not inherent temperaments, but a learning through socialisation, for the upkeep of an existent patriarchal system. It said,

“let her have her independent existence and she will continue nonetheless to exist…

mutually recognising each other as subject, each will yet remain for the other an other.”

Feebly stitched buttons of a garment, when forced to expand beyond capacity will unfasten, or even break to being unruly. The presentation of [Tender buttons, and a] Bellyache intends to stray away from the vicious circle of societal formations, keeping in mind the context of South Asia which has underlying traditions and currents of suppression.

[Tender buttons, and a] Bellyache gives agency to artists to realise manifestations that reflect personal narratives, socio-cultural encounters and overheard histories.


Mrudula Kunatharaju

Sanna Irshad Mattoo

Hemavathy Guha

Aakriti Chandervanshi

Piyali Ghosh

Prachee Batra

Krishna Popaliya

Rachita Dutta

Ahalya Rajendran

Meher Afroz Vahid

Mayuri Chari

Bhairavi Modi

Meenakshi Nihalani

Kanchan Chander

Sadhvi Jawa

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