Metaphors and Materials

An exhibition that explores applied material on canvas and sculpture / installation in steel.

‘Metaphors and Materials’ combines the mystery and ambiguity of steel and the delicacy of coral beads with the strong vision of nature’s elements connecting in a fundamental way to create evocative works that are timeless. They rest on platforms that treat the canvas as a universal ‘whole’ embedded with metaphors. For the artists the canvas is a metaphoric field inspired by nature on which soft delicate coral beads and steel ‘windows’ create a continuum of fluid reciprocations. Transcending matter the artists explore the paradigm of material to metaphor, for the purpose of exploring the creative implications embodied by this process. The physical qualities inherent in the material, the solidity of stainless steel, the delicacy of coral beads and pliability of wire existed to serve the irreverent purpose of the moment, in a performance or as part of a multiple.

Puneet Kaushik weaves contemporary mythologies – the coming together of human lives within the time of living. He weaves myths of contemporaneity and its tradition through the essence of the ‘being’. Myths about being and existing in a social sphere, the effect of the social on the essence of the being, his mythical vision about the form/formlessness of being in reality whilst storytelling about its antithesis or its alter ego in a parallel existence.“For in truth, art lies hidden within nature; he who can wrest it from her, has it” Albrecht Durer. For Puneet nature is the inherent quality of ‘the being’. His conceptual and contextual framework evolves from the very notion and temporality of the latter. Through a selfcreated vocabulary and the use of an array of materials he creates the setting for an intervention of his truth, his own being and his own experiences.

It is the exploration of the self through a process of absorption of notions and realities inverting the perspective of the assumed.

Shalini Biswajit’s Ever at Rest series is cathartic in their expression of the emotional adjunct of what could be regarded as an exceptional occurrence; Trekking to Everest Base Camp, the event that articulated the series. Space is reflective of the enormity of nature, colour is a cipher, associated with symbolic and psychological schemata, the captured image detains the past within the present, a leitmotif of an experience where energy and spirituality coexists. The stainless steel ‘windows’ of spiritual awakening profess a representational form within a seemingly abstract idiom. They are pregnant with referential meaning. Going beyond mere aesthetics these works acknowledge biographism. Shalini often engages with the feminine as a self portrait; a grapheme that is self-reflective and journalistic where nature, figuration, space assume the mantle of protagonist.

‘A Working Title’

Curated by Shalini Biswajit

“In all the arts there is a physical component which can no longer be considered or treated as it used to be, which cannot remain unaffected by our modern knowledge and power. For the last twenty years neither matter nor space nor time has been what it was from time immemorial. We must expect great innovations to transform the entire technique of the arts, thereby affecting artistic invention itself and perhaps even bringing about an amazing change in our very notion of art”.

— Paul Valery, Pieces sur L’art, Le Conquete de l’ubiquite

A generation of artists is embracing technological platforms to create a visual paradigm in their art practice. For an artist engaged in such a practice it is exciting to manipulate, recreate several times over, stretch, skew and paraphrase artwork that is delivered through a technological scanner broadly classified as New Media. There is a seamless transfer of artwork from ideas to visualization to creation to production using software. Their approach to art is dynamic in the true sense with unlimited variables allowing the freedom of reproduction in multiples by choice. The value of each multiple sometimes self limited by the artist never the less opens up a wide spectrum of possibilities, clientele and art appreciation.

‘A Working Title’ showcases photography, graphics, digital art and video installation that exploresthe possibilities of digital medium and is at the moment perhaps an ‘ism’ in progress. The advent of technology is changing the concept of art and the direction it is heading is revolutionary and exciting rather like a work in progress and hence ‘A Working Title’.

Shalini Biswajit

Artists have been trying to create a visual language, as original as possible, ever since the privileging of ‘art for art’s sake’ became viable in the cultural sphere. The digital age with its infinite possibilities of dissemination of information, and its multiplication and repetition has challenged this notion. A Working Title seeks to grapple with the digital phenomenon, virtual and visual, that has simultaneously universalized and fragmented the visual experience.

In her two sets of works, Kanchan Chander’s dialogic with her artistic self is mediated by popular imagery of the divas of yesteryears in their black and white glory and with Frida Kahlo. On the pristine digital image she layers ‘feminine’ embellishments: adorning the self, the woman and the experience of being a woman. The construction of the self conscious body, to be displayed and celebrated, can also be seen in Praveen Goud’s electro-sapiens in which science, technology and fashion coalesce into art, visually and socially, in the new global world.

This new world is dominated by digital artifacts such as the ubiquitous keyboard seen in Mukesh

Sharma’s works. He uses these keys as symbolic entre ports into the urban globalised lives that allow us to enter, delete and negotiate our thoughts, actions and relationships. Ravikumar Kashi plays with the traditional alphabet chart, in which each alphabet has dual signifiers – tangible images and intangible mentalites. The new set of associations thus thrown up suggests inversion, and more interestingly the subversion of the dominant commercial and social order.

Subversive imagery of the globalizing digital age, with its consumerist excesses can also be seen in Birendra Pani’s digital photographs that juxtapose the mundane such as the capsule, with its accumulative signified impact. Harsha Biswajit also uses repetitive imagery to emphasize the flogging of familiar visuals with their contiguous socio-economic values in the new digital environment. Diminishing significance of craft traditions and concomitant life cycle are the main concerns in Clare Arni’s photo-documentation agenda that goes beyond stark reality of disjuncture to reveal the lyricism of continuity underneath. Continuum between visual and philosophic tradition, between myth and reality, between technology and creation, between self and the ‘other’ define Seema Kohli’s work as she seamlessly negotiates between painting, digital prints, and performance. Bandeep Singh’s digital photographs explicate on the

origins of life, of nature and the universe through the ghata or the earthen vessel and the feminine form, delving into the philosophic and textual sources to recreate the beginning of time, space and life.

All the artists in the show explore the global and local cultural contexts through their interaction with new media, be it photography, printing, or manipulation of the digital image, creating an interactive environment in which art and artists can dialogue with their roots and with the immediate environment.

MONDAY, MARCH 12 Event

Event 1 “Metaphors and Materials” by Puneet Kaushik & Shalini
Biswajit
Event 2 “A Working Title” Group Exhibition curated by
Shalini Biswajit
Artists Bandeep Singh, Birendra Pani, Clare Arni, Harsha
Biswajit, Kanchan Chander, Maripally Praveen Goud,
Mukesh Sharma, Ravi Kumar Kashi, Seema
Kohli, Murali Cheeroth
Time 7:00 PM
Venue Forum Art Gallery
Show Closes April 12

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