Sunday, July 31, 2011

Contemporary Indian art in spotlight at a prestigious biennale event

The ‘Crossroads’ section at this year’s Prague Biennale showcases many renowned and highly talented artists from India. Curated by Kanchi Mehta, it features some of the forms, themes and multitude of mediums explored by them.

Artists featured from India include Nikhil Chopra, Anita Dube, Minam Apang, Sarnath Bannerjee, Sonia Jose, Ranbir Kaleka, Sakshi Gupta, PS Jalaja, Monali Meher, Justin Ponmany, TV Santosh, Shreyas Karle, Riyas Komu, Tejal Shah, Shah Betancourt, Gigi Scaria, Charmi Gada Shah, Sudarshan Shetty, Shine Shivan, T Venkanna, Avinash Veeraraghavan, and Vivek Vilasini.

There is a definite line of thinking and process that links the seemingly disparate choices of artworks made, states the curator, who has made an effort to offer an overview of India's dynamic and thriving art talent from the new generation of artists. The curator obviously wants to represent the trajectory of contemporary Indian art and the way it is shaping, to move to an altogether different level. In the process, it is imbibing an array of influences from the life and people around, accepting them with an open mind.

Among the participating artists, Sarnath Banerjee, primarily a graphic novelist, creates work that reflects the subversive spirit or nature of the form. His installation of pencil drawings at Prague, ‘Middle-Class Hero’, narrates the tale of the legendary Marxist revolutionary, Che Guevara. The artist explains that the work looks to address the Left liberal movement’s hypocrisy,

According to him, the work is an attempt on his part to introduce an element of narrative that Indian art lacks. On the other hand, TV Santosh's engaging oil-on-canvas juxtaposes varied images and influences from the media with features, news, views and articles about the pro-democracy uprising in Egypt.

Through ‘Another Story from a City Square’, he tries to explore the way today’s news media is defining, to a larger extent, the relationship of an individual with the world outside. He has been quoted as saying: "News reports tend to act as our extended visions. They eventually become an integral part of our day-to-day experiences."

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