Monday, September 24, 2012

‘Hereinafter’ at GALLERYSKE

Anup Mathew Thomas creates photographic images that depict events - both personal and specific in nature. In the process, he asks larger cultural questions. His work is often presented as prints as well as digital slideshows.

‘Hereinafter’, his new solo show just took place at Bangalore-based GALLERYSKE, It captured complex themes like death, objects that are reminiscent of the past and the need of preserving bygones. It was comprised of 15 images that captured subjects, a few inanimate, within the context of his home state Kerala.

Adopting a form of storytelling, he uses conventions to document the objects complied and preserved by others.The set of works by the talented artist offers a mix of visuals - old, battered typewriters in a frame, and also superannuated cameras for motion picture in another. There are plaques to remember those who had passed away. He brings together compelling images of crime scenes, and the staging of a funeral, to portray the human aspect of the inevitable loss and death, and also its importance from the angle of social culture, and dealing with the aspect of preservation of legacies, so to say.

The title alluded to terms ‘afterlife’ and ‘hereafter’. There’s much more to it than the theme of death; its arrangement peels away peculiar layers of meaning that are diffused in aspects of memories, their preservation, and the understanding of mortality.The centre piece of ‘Hereinafter’ was ‘Preparations for Karthikeyan’s Post Mortem’, standing touch away from other pieces of the solo show, in a mostly empty room at the venue!

An artist note informed viewers about an elephant, which succumbed to an accident, causing mass protests and public scene that led to its burial. The central chamber houses two more pieces – ‘Staging at Nedumbarakkadu’ and ‘Boards of Konthuruthy’, delineating the three stages he focuses on, namely: the past, the present and the aftermath of death.

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