Amol K. Patil: Poetic Power
By Kerstin Winking
When I first met Amol K. Patil in 2014, we were both visiting Bangalore. Together with a friend and another artist, Patil was working on a mural that wraps around the backyard of his friend’s family house. I was on a short research trip. Pausing his painting process, Patil took time to make tea and sit down with me in the living room, telling me energetically about his artistic practice. By then, the 27-year-old had already built an impressive portfolio comprising performances and mixed-media installations. He also had a remarkably clear vision of the embeddedness of his artistic practice in his socioeconomic context and cultural environment, particularly the poetry of his grandfather and the theater scripts of his father. Departing from his familial background, Patil continues to formulate powerful artistic critiques on Indian casteism and its designation of some people as “untouchables” (also known as Dalits).