Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Implication of the human upon construct of the non-human

The works exhibited in a thematic group show, entitled ‘Organic dreams of electric sheep: Image, Empathy and Pulse: After Philip K Dick’, at Mumbai-based Guild gallery are positioned as ‘electric sheep’; as stand-ins for the focus of the conflict between the empathy and the image and therefore also an implication of the human upon the construct of the non-human, and thus activated by transference across forms resulting in not only a displacement of the image, but also of the displacement of time and of distance.

Art writer Renuka Sawhney elaborates that the exhibit asks in effect; if we are implicated in the predominance of the image in our language, and thus also in the consequent separation, fabrication, presentation and animation of images, then what ethical considerations arise when distance mitigates the relations between image as experiential and image as construct and lastly what is the agency of the artistic within the formation of ‘electric sheep’?

Among the participating artists, Pooja Iranna explores how the built urban structures order and articulate space and the response of the human body and the human psyche to these spaces. This particular visual idiom has existed in the blurred boundaries between painting, photography, mixed media collages and sculptures and between architecture, urban spatiality and abstraction.

“When looking at the photographic works we are aware firstly of the soaring access, of spatiality articulated as a spectacle. This free movement is aided but also ordered by the architectural elements, creating frames which are patterned by grids, reducing the magnificence to the manageable,” art critic Deeksha Nath has noted.

Mithu Sen’s drawings often extend into installation and other mediums in order to explore the elision of audio- visual experiences. Viewers are compelled to relate to her works at a personal level, through self-analysis of their own identity. The artist wants them to question prevailing societal values. Known for unconventional themes and forms, she represents the new wave of talent in contemporary Indian art, and often puts to use a wide range of media, such as sculptural projects, drawing, collage, objects, video works, and installation.

Baiju Parthan and Gigi Scaria are the other two artists featured in this must-watch group show.

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