Sunday, December 23, 2012

‘Subliminal Metropolis’ at Latitude28

A new show at Latitude28 in New Delhi includes the works of Shanthamani M, Preksha Tater and Julien Segard (a French artist). The three artists explore the different possible ways to represent architectural spaces – ancient, urban, or psychological.

The three artworks at the venue look to play with a peculiar geometrical architecture as well as an organizing grid so as to deconstruct it. The idea is to build an eternal play existing between a formalistic space’s representation and its collapse into what perhaps can be seen as a mental landscape.

In her piece, Shanthamani Muddaiah tries to address ancient Western antiquity. The artist harks back to its eccentric iconic mythologies/images for examining and reforming them with charcoal, described in the accompanying note as a particular and rather charged sculptural material.

In her centerpiece of the show, titled ‘Black Mirror’, Muddaiah focuses on the pillar’s architectural structure. Six huge columns made of charcoal infiltrate the exhibiting space and alongside sculptures of urns. The idea is to build an imagined, nearly disrupted archeological city site. The apparent gaze towards the Western culture’s heritage is somewhat ambivalent; it represents, on the one hand for the artist one of the origins of knowledge and it’s worn out by the passage of time, at the same time, no longer holding a claim to our understanding of world around.

The pillars tend to signify both decay of human glory as well as its pathos, collapsing under multiple narratives and inclusive forms of knowledge that overshadow ancient grandeur gradually. Her frozen, heavy sculptural works of a fast-deteriorating antiquity juxtaposed with s dynamic drawings by Julien Segard (of deconstructed contemporary metropolitan areas) give way to immense city-scape drawings of an array of recycled materials.

The images invariably originate from satellite views of many cities in India and France (Paris, Marseille) with which the artist shares a biographical relation. The image’s unity is dismantled, almost detached from reality – as if abstracted as well as reconstructed anew. The bird's eye point of view is deftly infused with the proximity of his very own personal-mental explorations and experiences in the urban spaces to generate an extremely vibrant perspective shuffling.

Last but not the least, space in Preksha Tater’s works as processed formations of complex psychological relations does not refer to any specific locations.

'Subliminal Metropolis’ is curated by Anne Maniglier.

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