Friday, August 31, 2012

Works that stand out yet co-exist thematically

As one can make out, conscious effort behind conceptualizing a new group exhibition ‘A Floating Object’ at Mumbai’s Guild is to extend multiplicity and simultaneity to the collection of works on view. They are not linked by a linear narrative, concept or theme,as a curatorial essay by Renuka Sawhney elaborates, but they are bordered by the walls of the space within which they are simultaneously exhibited.

It adds: “They are also therefore free to activate the space they inhabit, free to associate with other works, as incongruent absurdities in relation to one another, as rhizomatic connections, as interruptions of hierarchies or a discordant strum of poetic logic, unfolding in privately held time or publically and collectively acknowledged time. They provide multiple visions, spaces, and narratives. 

“Furthermore they create open-ended movements that generate transference of consciousness of form and content and the incongruent nature of reality and fictions, and rather than display a fixedity in narrative form, they seek shifting modes through which to travel. As such each artist forms a center, where each work is treated on its own terms and left free to associate with other centers. 

The effort here is also to engage the viewer to view time as a uniquely individual concern rather than a linear structure that runs throughout the exhibition. Though thematically, contextually and in form, are and can be seen as disparate objects, they can also be seen as objects whose established history and place in a canon as being separate from the works themselves, although available to lend context. It is in this co-dependence yet isolation where each work takes on a character and an individuality that allows a viewer to choose their own entry and exit. 

For instance, Zakkir Hussain’s works on paper are apparently inhabited by strange creatures -mutilated, funny, pathetic and evocative, they give off a sense of intense psychological churn bordering on the disruptive.  This violence of vision, thought and internal struggle, manifests itself in bold and disturbing visuals that draw us into a nether world within. Sometimes quiet and at others aroused and bursting outward, serving as a reminder that at a micro or a macro level we have to contend with ourselves.

On the other hand, in Gieve Patel works, the placement of the body in a physical form not only delineates the lingering presence of a body but also informs the landscape and the absence that it may form into and out of. The presence and the absence of a body, its surroundings and the forms it may take, to transfer consciousness, knowledge or simply its own potential for abstraction forms an imprint that resonates with its own unique tonality.

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