Thursday, September 13, 2012

‘Reveal the secrets that you seek’

An exhibit of recent works done by a well-renowned contemporary artist from India, Bharti Kher, is being hosted at the SCAD Museum located in Savannah, USA. Here are a few highlights of her oeuvre and the works on view:
  • Entitled ‘Reveal the secrets that you seek’, it incorporates a selection of her recent body of work, which revolves around themes of male and female energies in flux, nature and man, transformation and alternative realities.

  • ‘A line through space and time’, a large-scale installation, carries a 17ft long staircase. It’s splashed with red paint and few other elements, running from floor to ceiling. The stairs incidentally confront people with a loaded and powerful re-configuration of what’s now a defunct architectural fragment sourced from an old structure in India.
  • On the other hand, the title work of the important show is comprised of 27 shattered, salvaged mirrors. They envelope and immerse onlookers in their own reflections which, in turn, become a part of her art. Together, these experiential artworks pointedly ask us to consider our oft-neglected relationship to life's everyday (mundane) activities and objects, seeking a re-view of our pre-set ideas of the self - as fleeting, fluid and ever changing.
  • A mark of identity, the bindi has become a leitmotif in Bharti Kher’s vocabulary. Used as a material to articulate and animate her intentions, the bindis act as a medium, much like paint or clay, but with an inherited narrative creating a second skin to her works. The artist addresses a number of sensitive issues like class and consumerism, and draws on her personal experiences to reflect on these.
  • She is particularly known for her appropriation of the motif of bindi, a red dot on the forehead of married women in India, that’s looked at as a curious fashion accessory in the West. It appears in her work as a central motif, conveying a range of connotations and meanings whilst transforming surfaces and objects.
  • Her life size sculptures of animals (deer, elephants, hyenas, etc) done in fibreglass explore her interest in kitsch. They demonstrate a witty and sarcastic side of her creation. Her art practice encompasses digital photography as well.

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