Friday, July 8, 2011

‘Babel’, by Anita Dube at Galerie Dominique Fiat, Paris

Galerie Dominique Fiat in Paris presents a solo show of new works, entitled ‘Babel’, by Anita Dube, known for extending the visible thin line wherein words tend to act as corporeal manifestos to comment on the world around, as seen and perceived by her.

Deftly engaging the political through an astute aesthetic investigation of text as well as theory, the artist demonstrates apparent interest in the primacy of touch right alongside the visual. The series ‘embodies’ words, literally, as it makes them flesh in gripping performance and photographic works wherein she cuts meat into ‘Keywords’, reflecting on dystopia’s and utopia’s that affect us.

An introductory note states: “In ‘Kash (for Kashmir)’, the artist uses baroque ceiling rosettes, covering them with white velvet and then embedding them with photographs of people, landscape and flowers, after her recent visit to the state. Only Kash (meaning ‘hopefully’ in Hindi), is retained in the word, marred by a black dripping line of blood-filled political conflicts. This line of thinking continues in most works that investigate a human concern with both personal and societal loss and regeneration.”

Anita Dube, born in Lucknow in 1958, received a degree in History at the University of Delhi. She then studied art criticism at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda. Also trained as an art historian, her work ranges from sculpture to photography.

She deftly combines imagery and references to Indian culture with specific contemporary concerns, to negotiate the slippery terrains of identity – both societal and individual. She also has employed the enamel eyes often found on idols of Hindu deities for her sculptures and installations.

Elaborating on their context, she has stated in an interview: "I’ve realized that when a cluster of these eyes carry the charge and energy of crowds. The sense of being in crowded places, an attraction to the violent energy present in these situations - either revolutionary or fascist - is the reason I continue to explore this material."

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