Friday, July 26, 2013

‘Barbed Floss’ at The Guild

Curated by Veeranganakumari Solanki, ‘Barbed Floss’ at The Guild is a group exhibition of new works and explorations by artists Tayeba Begum Lipi, Mahbubur Rahman, Promotesh Das Pulak, Molla Sagar, and Anisuzzaman Sohel.

An accompanying essay mentions: “Borders in any land scratch the land itself. Mahbubur Rahman’s works depict this pressure created by man-made systems of divisions that plug the natural flow of human relationships, communication and understanding. Borders themselves inherently have the quality of unusual movement that politically fluctuate social understanding amongst harmonious communities and pre-existing neighbourhoods. Rahman grew up in an older part of Dhaka that had the most interactive neighborhoods where people of different religions happily resided in its architectural beauty.

“In my childhood I used to hang out with my friends from one para (certain area with one society) to another para visiting all the old buildings, amongst which, some were abandoned and some badly maintained. People used to call these abandoned houses ‘enemy properties’. I wondered why they were called ‘enemy properties’...they did not belong to the anti Bangladeshi’s but Bangali Hindu communities before the 1971 war.” Suffocated and pressurized by borders, claustrophobia similar to type in operation theatres, creation of borders through barbed fences, visas, immigration and passports the artist creates sculptures out of stainless-steel scissors that depict the dissection and pressure of the spirit of freedom, while constantly protecting oneself and being on guard.

To deal “loudly with the heights and frights of political civilisation”, Anisuzzaman Sohel has created a series of mixed media works that include reflections of his own appearance to depict the projection of being a first-hand victim of the spoken partition. Describing his works as an “interior monologue”, the artist juxtaposes the sharp and the fine, the flowers with the daggers and clichés the freedom of birds with barbed wires. Sohel ploys beauty with brute, existing yet struggling unresolved at any given instance. His relationship with his works and imagination is a permeable border between hypo and hyper, real and surreal.

Veeranganakumari Solanki (b. 1985) is an independent curator and art-writer; based in Mumbai, India. She studied English Literature; and holds post-graduate diplomas in Indian Aesthetics; Art Criticism and Theory; as well as a Masters in History. Her curatorial experience has involved research, curating and writing for several art publications and journals on emerging Indian, Asian and international artists and art practices; in India as well as internationally.

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