Given Time :
The Gift and Its Offerings
Curated by Dr. Arshiya Lokhandwala
Given Time: The Gift and its Offerings is an invitation to twelve artists’ to unpack ideas of the gift. The gift normally understood as a simple exchange from one individual to the other; one is not aware of its larger contractual obligations, which are already in place once we receive or accept the gift. Every society has different practices in regards the exchanges not exclusively of goods and wealth, real and personal property, and things of economic value, but also the exchange of military favors, ritual and hospitality.
An area of much scholarship by many historians including anthropologist Marcel Mauss who suggests: the gift giving not as a voluntary action where a person gives to another person, but that the person receiving a gift is obligated, as being the recipient to involuntarily reciprocate the same, emphasizes the importance of obligation in this act of returning a gift. The exhibition title pays homage to philosopher Jacques Derrida’s book Given Time 1: Counterfeit Money in addition highlighting "the interval" between giving and receiving a gift as playing a critical part in the exchange of gift and counter-gift (return-gift), suggesting that the gift not only "gives time," but implies the moment within which it must be returned to the gift giver making the gift according to him impossible. The reciprocity of the gift, its return or exchange, annuls the gift. Is it possible for us to consider the gift devoid of reciprocity, return, exchange, or debt is what the exhibition aspires to contemplate.