Saturday, August 18, 2012

Works by Tushar Joag at The Guild show

Tushar Joag terms himself a public intervention-artist, who employs a captivating combination of satire with an acute sense of the ecosystem within which his chosen subjects – the objects both man made and organic - participate. Fiction, fantasy and fabrication abound in his work but also underscore the appropriated mythologies that lend themselves to molded formulation.

An accompanying essay by Renuka Sawhney elaborates: “He draws from comic book figures (superheroes), from the farce of authority (postboxes), from practical concerns to quixotic ones (Shanghai Couch), but more often than not they come together to form composites unconfined by the outer edges of the possible.”

In ‘Pests’, one of his works on view at The Guild, as part of a new group show, he creates a fantasy, which plays with reality in such a manner that the former can easily be taken for the latter, but which also tends to recall visually the vision of filmmaker/director, Guillermo Del Toro mixed in with a healthy dose of farce. As the essay points out: “Bulldozers with wings populate the skyline, humming one thinks, in anticipation of the planned bulldozing of the building at center of the image, which for its part is trying in vain to escape. The skyline of Mumbai in the background flickers between the leaves and flowers that cover the base of the building in the foreground.

“The building façade forms a face with its balcony acting as a stretched out mouth, and Mickey Mouse ears cap off its roof. The addition of Mickey Mouse ears to the face of the building recalls the world of Disney which, in the words of John Berger, ‘is charged with vain violence. The catastrophe in this case: its demolition.

“The tilting tower –at the other end of the building, turns into a symbol of the ineptitude of construction, echoing the tower of Pisa, and more specifically the older (Victorian) construction that is particular to the architecture of pre-independence Mumbai. New construction looms in the background. The building balances itself on its two hind feet, which in this case, seem to be taken from the feet of the four lions of the Ashoka Stambh.”

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