Saturday, October 27, 2012

Shilpa Gupta, Yardena Kurulkar and Vishal K Dar

Launched three years ago by ŠKODA Auto India & Seventy EMG, it’s one of the most recognized and keenly watched events in the domain of contemporary Indian art. The Škoda Prize as every year has attracted a large number of applications from artists across India.

Yardena Kurulkar at Mumbai-based Gallery BMB
Yardena Kurulkar’s work is the consequence of years of reflection around the journey of Life and Death. Her work aims to capture the essence of their co-existence, their inter-dependence, the similarities between them and the contradictions they pose. Her own creative pursuit has been fraught with questions and dilemmas around the subject. That most of us obsessively deny death despite its certainty, strikes her as ironic.

On the contrary, embracing Death as a transitory phase and the inevitable stage of Life is liberating. The acceptance of Death opens new thought streams and in a noble way energizes Life. The fear of death can be confronted only when we recognize its transience rather than perceive it as terminal. Death after all, is an indispensable cog in the cycle of Life. The artist’s work and the media she has chosen for their expression are influenced by the observation that they closely mimic Life.

Shilpa Gupta courtesy Chemould Prescott Road

She creates artwork using interactive video, websites, objects, photographs, sound and public performances to probe and examine subversively such themes as desire, religion, notions of security on the street and on the imagined border.

Although Shilpa Gupta’s works are developed largely through technological means, their significance lies in their candid communication the various issues that shape contemporary life. In her works, Gupta touches on aspects of current, universal issues including environmental degradation, globalization, terrorism, war, intolerance, gender politics and human rights.

Vishal K Dar
Mention must also be made of artist Vishal K Dar who features in the Skoda Prize long list for an exhibition: NAAG, New Delhi. His projects often encompass digital, manual, material and monumental worlds; he looks to merge visual spectacle with socio-political concerns.

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