Given Time: The Gift and its Offerings is an invitation proposed to ten Indian artists to unpack the concepts behind the gift. Oblivious to the greater contractual obligations, we receive with a premature understanding of the significant and inconspicuous exchange between individuals. Every society has different practices relating to the exchanges of goods and wealth, real and personal property, and subsuming categories of economic value, though also of military favors, rituals, and hospitality.
It is an area of scholarship by many historians, including anthropologist Marcel Mauss, who suggests that giving is not a voluntary action between people but that the person receiving a gift is obligated - therefore emphasizing the importance of contractual act in returning a gift. The exhibition title pays homage to philosopher Jacques Derrida's book, Given Time 1: Counterfeit Money. It highlights the critical "interval" between the exchange of a gift and counter-gift, suggesting that the gift not only gives time but implies the moment within which it must be returned, making the gift, according to him, impossible. The reciprocity of the gift - its return or exchange, is annulling. This exhibition considers the impossibility of a gift devoid of reciprocity, return, or debt.