In December 2016, ‘the city of hoardings’ Hyderabad became the location for a unique artistic inquiry. Two artists - Dia Mehta Bhupal and Daku - were invited to create a temporary installation spread across 9 advertising hoardings in key commuter-friendly parts of the city. The artists collaborated with the foundation to create an intervention that would engage with the city’s ‘visual pollution".

Over time Hyderabad’s visual landscape had been invaded with umpteen commercial advertisements, altering the outlook of the city. Together, Bhupal and Daku appropriated 9 hoardings spread across the city, in their respective styles, to create an intervention that used satire to sell itself. The hoardings worked upon were spread across the city’s regions that enjoyed extensive public visibility, such as Parade Ground and the Khairatabad flyover.

The artists wanted to focus on our lack of control over public spaces, increasingly being encroached on by private commercial interests. Coming from different backgrounds and approaches, they adopted two separate styles for the intervention. However, sharing common research on public spaces and within them, on the usage of language and manipulated images, the artists collaborated to design the intervention as an anti-consumerist wake-up call on the streets of Hyderabad.

Daku Artvertising Pranav Gohil 1

Daku, reflecting on his background in advertising, triggered an ironic dialogue on the stereotypes ad companies present as a visual hypnosis for the consumer. In a conceptual appropriation of manipulated images, he used a typographic bold intervention and focused his inquiry on analysing the advertisements’ visual language. His analysis was then translated into simple comprehensible text.

Daku Artvertising Pranav Gohil 2
Daku Artvertising Pranav Gohil 3

Pointing to projections and desires created in the layman’s mind by commercial advertisements, Daku’s typographic intervention used satire wisely.

Daku Artvertising Pranav Gohil 5
Daku Artvertising Pranav Gohil 4

Hyderabad-based artist Dia Bhupal is known for working with waste paper from magazines to create installations which are then photographed as the final artwork. For this installation in her home city, she wanted to explore the gap between reality and perception. To follow up on her intention, Dia focused on the iconography of popular consumables depicted through advertisements that give us an illusion of choice.

Dia Bhupal
Dia Mehta Bhupal constructs installations made out of wasted paper, magazines, newspapers, which she then frames in captivating and questioning still-life photographs.
Dia Mehta Bhpal Artvertising Pranav Gohil 4
Dia Mehta Bhpal Artvertising Pranav Gohil 3
Dia Mehta Bhpal Artvertising Pranav Gohil 2
Dia Mehta Bhpal Artvertising Pranav Gohil 1

The installation ran throughout the month of December 2016.