“Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand”- Mark Twain
What can be more apt than looking at the exhibition, ‘Licence to Laugh’, on a day that is celebrated worldwide as the ‘World Laughter Day’? Presented by the Shrishti Art Gallery, Hyderabad, on the occasion of its 19th anniversary, the show has been curated by noted curator and art historian Lina Vincent. Through a satirical language of caricatures, comics, popular imageries, and texts the group of seven artists: Chitra Ganesh, Farhad Hussain, Gurjeet Singh, Princess Pea, Smruthi Gargi Eswar, Thukral and Tagra and Tushar Waghela underlines the concerns of the time while addresses the issue of menacing censorship practised by those in power.
Chitra Ganesh’s works appear to be straight out of a graphic novel with Women Of Color as its protagonists. Another powerful female figure catches the attention, ‘Dadi’, the c haracter created by Princess Pea: “… a figure which wakes us up for our rights and long present suppression of women”, as the artist describes her protagonist. Thukral and Tagra, the artist duo’s interactive piece ‘Verbal Kabaddi IV’ invites the audience to engage in a game that is more akin to a tongue-twister and when performed as instructed, may make him/ her realise how important it is to pronounce our concerns.
When laughter has the healing quotient in it, an exhibition such as ‘Licence to Laugh’ prompts us to think who can laugh and who permits that very act.
13th June marks the end of this show.

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