Thursday, April 8, 2010

‘A Wild Gander’ at Brooklyn’s BRIC Rotunda

A new international show courtesy SAWCC (The South Asian Women’s Creative Collective) reflects on the complex issues, which frame South Asian identity, based in a gamut of social-personal spheres - gender, media representations, or politics.

‘A Wild Gander’ on view at Brooklyn’s BRIC Rotunda Gallery showcases works by Jesal Kapadia, Yamini Nayar, Divya Mehra, Mala Iqbal and Chitra Ganesh. Baseera Khan, BRIC’s Assistant Curator for Contemporary Art, has curated the group exhibition from SAWCC, a New York–based NGO that works for the visibility and development of South Asian women artists.

Many contemporary South Asian artists face a constant eviction of both identity and art-historical contexts. The organization recognizes the need for personal identity as a valuable platform for art making, so that they have the opportunity to crack the Western art canon.
A curatorial note states on the title of the exhibit that it’s drawn from ‘The Flight of the Wild Gander’, Joseph Campbell’s collection of essays.

The note adds:
“The essays reference the Sanskrit concept of the paramahamsa, an enlightened spiritual teacher who transcends the mundane, just as geese (hamsa) are able to transcend the earth through flight. This sage also feels at home both on water and on land, analogous to a person who adeptly negotiates disparate geopolitical cultural codes.”
The artists who feature in ‘A Wild Gander’ do so on their part, as they reflect the various complex contemporary issues.
“Skillfully interweaving medium and material, their diverse body of work tries to conceptualize the presence of liminal spaces between identity and formal study of artistic practice,” the write-up adds.
The women artists transcend and try to look beyond conventional understandings related to South Asian identity. In the process, they make an effort to reveal the nuanced influences between East & West and also reclaim representations of their (lost) heritage.

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