Friday, March 8, 2013

Ranbir Kaleka at Art13 London

Art13 London, a new modern & contemporary art fair, claiming to present a global perspective, showcased works from 1945 onwards until the present day. The inaugural edition featured 129 galleries from around 30 countries that showed paintings, sculptures, photographs, prints and multimedia works.

The event specially acknowledged the quality of art being produced in countries like China, South Africa, Australia, Brazil, and India, to complement galleries from Europe and the US, emphasizing its global reach. Ranbir Kaleka’s single channel video projection on painted surface, titled ‘Cul-de-sac in Taxila’, provided a narrative puzzle, dwelling on desire and struggle.

The work features a man dressed in a black suit sitting still and holding a hammer. When he suddenly raises the hammer to strike the air, a white horse appears before him. The title springs from his fascination with the city of Taxila, an important stop on ancient trade routes as well as a centre of learning, destroyed in the fifth century. It suggests that the man has aspirations to explore Taxila but can’t find the road to it.

The horse appears and disappears, and the man’s interminable wait is only disturbed by the persistent sound of a drop of water falling into a pan behind him. The artist was presented by Mumbai-based, Volte Gallery. Gallery Sumukha (Bangalore/ Chennai) was another Indian gallery that took part in London’s newest art fair.

A solo of dazzling digital works by renowned artist Ranbir Kaleka are being presented at Saffronart Delhi courtesy Volte Gallery later this month. On eve of the show, we reproduce an article on the gallery site to give an idea of his work from previous exhibitions that form the crux of his philosophy and processes as an artist:

Defining the crux of his art, he says, "Painting has a physical quality, a thing-ness which one can touch and feel. Video, on the other hand, is made simply from light, and has another kind of aura. I wondered what would happen if I combined the two. When you do that you arrive at a third, layered image with a different quality, which makes it possible to enter different spaces of meaning and touch human experience at another level.

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