Friday, July 1, 2011

‘The Strangling Power of Dust and Stars’ by Chitra Ganesh

Simultaneously, ‘The Strangling Power of Dust and Stars’ by Chitra Ganesh takes place at Berlin-based Nature Morte. This significant show features a large-scale multimedia installation made on-site, a series of new drawings, works done on canvas as well as dazzling digital collages.

She has created a series of large scale digital prints presenting densely-packed, science fictive, and supernatural scenes. These prints build upon the artist's earlier collages, in which she appropriated a popular Indian comic book series, Amar Chitra Katha. The new works are layered with both art historical and popular references to print culture. She also has produced charcoal drawings that depict film actresses from the 1920s and 1930s, starring in Indo-German co-productions.

Chitra Ganesh’s work is a mix of separate productive moves that work in a perfect harmony. Even while firmly rooted in a Western, postmodern discourse, her cultural references allow her to convey the proven principle of a multiplicity as a spirit that draws together.

Recovering buried histories to consciously bring them into a public and contemporary realm has informed her art practice and her working with contemporary/ historical political figures and mass mediated imagery. She states, “This imagery has not been fully explored; these stories contain question marks that can be best articulated through imaginative visual language.”

Her diverse oeuvre that includes installations and sculptural works is largely an outcome of a mélange of factors, such as queer politics, present day imperialism, lyric poetry, mythological narratives, and erased moments in South Asian history. Treating these as a starting point, she integrates them with her mythic imagery, to conceive a hybrid world, which articulates both psychic transformation and historical conflict.

While firmly rooted in a Western, postmodern discourse, Chitra Ganesh’s cultural references let her convey the principle of a multiplicity as a spirit, which draws together, and not breaks apart. In her comic book like sequences of digital prints, the artist includes snippets of text, successfully marrying with the post-modern in a truly unique aesthetic.

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