Saturday, April 24, 2010

Intricacies of installation art and what makes it appealing…

What really makes for an unconventional piece of art? How can an installation appeal to the viewers?

The answer can be found in Subodh Gupta’s art practice that has managed to restructure Indian constructivist tendencies with success into the most sensuous and flamboyant theatricality of his installation pieces. They recreate themselves in our minds as a reverie. According to the artist, a work ought to leap forward, and say something strong enough to evoke a response in the viewer. He has stated:
“Installation must be understood without an artist’s explanation. It has to be simple in intent. Art should be like a ‘stream of translation’ in which an artist could monumentalize the emblem of global exchange.”
In art many permutations and gradations of space exist today. Space can be pictorial, fictive, real, mystical, geographical, social, male, mental female, architectural, whole, fragmented, distorted and compressed. Uma Nair in her ET essay points out that space could be socially charged and liberating - a prototype for anything. The works’ shared concept of art as social space should remain fresh. An installation, which causes spontaneous response, will work best. The art critic explains:
“Design and architecture are a vital part of the language of art. There is a complete embracing of the principle of pleasure, which is perhaps the most important legacy of popular culture. References to past alternative cultures are frequent, fragmented, sometimes subverted but rarely nostalgic.”
To influence the viewers and to be successful, an installation needs not only to evoke a response of amazement, but also kindle theatrical resonance. To it, intricacy of thought is more vital than just engraving or a host full of lights. If recycled material is an ingenuous idea, the end product must have a touch of newness, an unpredictable identity not seen before. Installations testify that art’s spaces have begun redefining themselves.

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