Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Rathin Barman’s installation at deCordova Sculpture Park

Rathin Barman’s works explore the intriguing relationship that exists between the urban and the rural with attention to the way in which technology, materialism, and globalization affects the two diverse realms.

The promising artist primarily works with industrial rubble like decrepit bricks, metal, materials that are inherently representative of the recurrent building up/ breaking down of human civilization. Often, his works juxtapose an urban environment with rural elements in sculptural forms as well as site-specific interventions.

Rathin Barman’s intriguing Untitled installation, currently sited on the renowned deCordova Sculpture Park’s lawn, apparently contrasts the suburban with the urban by fetching the leveled city buildings’ ruins to its pristine campus. It incorporates a series of walls, each one of them made by stacks of architectural demolition rubble, which are placed meticulously within an open metalwork frame. Obviously, the jagged, dense wreckage contrasts with the undulating frame, comparatively delicate in appearance in spite of its rigidity.

Its open weave simultaneously exposes and contains the rubble, to create a permeable boundary between the unspoiled park environment and the dirtied remnants of civilization. He mediates this intricate relationship employing metalwork, carefully crafted into beautiful botanical forms, created in the city of Kolkata. Thus the work becomes both universal and site-specific: it prompts viewers to reconsider how the manner in which they identify with their built surroundings and also to think of the different factors, which drive destruction and creation on an international level.

The sculpture is displayed courtesy Kolkata’s Experimenter Contemporary Art and the Creative India Foundation. Incidentally, Rathin Barman is the first artist from South Asia to exhibit in the world-renowned sculpture park. A version of this wonderful work, featuring the same dazzling metal armature, was first installed at the Frieze New York Sculpture Park in the spring 2012.

The installation indicates the mission of deCordova to showcase a wide variety of artwork by international artists

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