Wednesday, June 5, 2013

‘L'exigence de la saudade’ courtesy Kadist Art Foundation

A thematic event, ‘L'exigence de la saudade’, curated by Sumesh Sharma and Zasha Colah of Mumbai-Clark House Initiative in conjunction with Paris-based Kadist Art Foundation, features a trio of talented personalities artists from India – visual artist Prajakta Potnis, Padmini Chettur, a contemporary dancer, and master weaver Zamthingla Ruivah known for creations conceptually engaged with remnant cultural forms so as to reinvent them in the present, and not merely as endangered traditions.

Nalini Malani, Jean Bhownagary, Maarten Visser and Krishna Reddy are other participants alongside intervention in the public space by Prabhakar Pachpute and Justin Ponmany.  Their presentation together builds a complex and bewildering backdrop of the Indian subcontinent - too culturally conjoined with everything else, for any sense of nation to arise, as an accompanying note elaborates: “In this term saudade, as in the name ‘Bombay’ (bom baía), is heard the persistence of a Portuguese past. Exigency and saudade, retain the tension of opposites; the consciousness of the past in the present, which permits the envisaging of what is still to come.”

Chettur looks to displace the captivating choreographic tradition to a mesmerizing minimalistic idiom that visually translates philosophical concepts of time and space as they relate to contemporary experience. Ruivah revives the rich tradition of weaving to narrate the events of a community from the north-east of India.

The installation skillfully realized in situ by artist Prajakta Potnis is an outcome of her observation of the various different types of architecture, which compose a city. She echoes the social imaginary of the inhabitants through fissures or peeling walls. The works in the exhibition are juxtaposed with those of certain artists from India living in Paris more than four decades ago.

Malani described her time there as a ‘prise de conscience’. She lends to the exhibit a small papier mache head made in 1971. A sculpture by Krishna Reddy is an eidetic memory of students outside his window in the city in 1968. Bhownagary’s ceramic mask, also made in Paris, is included in the showcase.

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