Monday, October 31, 2011

Art reviews Marta Jakimowicz

Keeping me Connected – New Old Media (September 3 to 5) presented the outcome of Sumitro Basak’s residency at Shanthi Road Studio/Gallery.

Spells against anxiety

Magic Processors, Jehangir Jani’s exhibition at Shanthi Road Studio/Gallery (September 30 to October 5), looked, and to a large extent was, quite unlike the familiar images of defiant human vulnerability in a hybrid, violent world.

As the playful, lyrical works gradually revealed and overcame the underlying tension, the viewer could see that they differed only in degree or rather in their reversed proportion between the anxiety internalised from outside and the redeeming poetry within. As such the new path seems to further delve into a warmer, more peaceful centre that the older now artist instinctively recovers.

 In his brief note to the show Jani muses about our daily drudgery, unfair circumstances and endless want wondering what would happen to rational pursuits of there was magic. And, indeed, he went on to conjure its effect on our domestic environs casting spells against the noises and tensions that accompany our life ceaselessly generated by the mechanisms meant to help us do things efficiently and quickly.

In the gallery space one found oneself surrounded by white walls with white reliefs scattered almost all over where a large pressure cooker spewed a blender, a mobile and a washing machine, a toaster popped out computer and TV monitors, while the wide open “Alladin’s Briefcase” yielded cars, motorbikes and cellphones, all the elements plastered separate rhythmically and fairly flat on the surface to offer an intuition of a steady, continuous pulse, as though normal in its illogical relationship between the over-size contraptions and the miniatures of vast objects.

Whilst the many appliances and vehicles represented the materialistic possessions we ever strive to acquire, the artist so transformed them into toy-resembling motifs in an adult childhood game.

The non-colour whiteness of it all embedded in the architecture created a sense of calm and a tabula rasa to be inscribed with potentiality. The gay softness of the plaster of Paris with resin and cotton pulp appeared to be absorbing and muting the technological whirr and tension of the machinery.

The magic of young innocence could even turn the old-fashioned meat mincer, this art-historical sign of the human flesh as cannon fodder, into its antidote metamorphosing guns into riotous horses and sheep. Like a child willing the mundane into the phantasmagorical, Jani made his chair a flying scooter and let a two-wheeler exhaust butterflies.

The auto-rickshaw relief was used in the video piece “Cop and Goat,” as the artist playing his aged father enters it along with a child and other characters to go to a cricket match. On a nostalgic-mischievous note, the participants gesticulate, are thrown out of the auto to get back to it, until the beautiful Chandramukhi goat nibbles at the policeman with a toy riffle and eats the vehicle which has fallen apart.

Used to the intensity of Jani’s mainstream sculptures and installations, at least the earlier ones, which flaunt drastic conditions and force the onlooker to confront uncomfortable, distressing issues before offering insights of feeble resolution, one may have taken the show just lightly, since it asks for it first.

As an environment entirety, nevertheless, it was pervasive in atmosphere eventually allowing for the realisation that the childhood magic there was equated with the saving grace that the potential of art holds.

Mapping meanders

The young artist from Kolkata, for the first time anywhere in south India, was surprised to find familiar sights and situations instead of the differences expected from this technology-driven city.

The continuance of tradition in contemporary life here stimulated him to look for a common ground between the two local cultures while exploring the novel place. Having worked with rangolis in Bengal villages, he responded comfortably to their Bangalore variants, in particular that their curving and spiralling trajectories that refer to cosmic symbolism must have appeared to layer over the enmeshments of urban traffic and flyover flights that serve to connect people.

The resulting work on the gallery floor indeed was a rangoli of his own, footprints denoting his entry, the meanders alluding to tracing of the metro, street webs, map charts and rippling streams among which Basak tried to mark places as well as images known to him now inclusive of divine chariots, signboards, ritual motifs, dotted rows and plastic palms, all distributed on the flat so as to relate to the fluid diagram rhythm.

As much as one liked the graceful and readable idea behind the effort and appreciated the appropriateness of the details, the whole was perhaps somewhat literal, hence did not generate enough sensation.

What I Owe - A Photo Essay by Dipti Desai

These images were shot in Lalbagh and this photo essay is an exploration of the gratitude we owe to the gardeners of Lalbagh.
As I continue to consume, discard, hoard, clutter and rush, I pause.Sometimes.
Interrogating my pseudo responsible, malnourished consciousness. Every single day, as I walk or wait under a tree, I am aware of undeservingly becoming the recipient of a conserved space and its Spirit. The unheralded guardians of genius loci of every conserved space heal the acrid human spirit. With humility and magnanimity they sow, toil, nurture, 
for the ones yet to inherit it.

This awareness challenges me to dwell and remind myself of the gratitude I owe them. With every column of mortar rising in my city, a tree
dies, the dryad cannot afford to die. For he, has chosen something larger.

An ecologically and socially valuable premise as this, fosters social interactions and contributes to well being in more ways than one can
acknowledge. My ingratitude so far is inexcusable and I present these series of images in honor of every gardener of every space as this.

Dipti Desai is a freelance Photographer. She lives and works in Bangalore.

This Project is supported by the Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions Limited under the Robert Bosch Art Grant 2011, made to 1.Shanthiroad Studio/Gallery, Bangalore.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Open Call for Applications: CURATORIAL RESIDENCY @ 1.Shanthiroad Studio/Gallery, Bangalore

Khoj International Artist's AssociationNew Delhi in collaboration with VAC-Visual Art Collective~1.Shanthiroad Studio/Gallery, Bangalore is hosting a residency programme for young curators as part of the four-year Curatorship Programmeconceptualized by India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) in collaboration with select institutions across the country. This is the third residency in a series of projects that KHOJ will undertake as the nodal centre facilitating curatorial practice in the visual arts. The Curatorship Programme is funded by the Jamsetji Tata Trust.

The residency aims to establish a model of practice-based training for curators. The resident curator (two curators shall be selected for the residency) will benefit from the support and network of art practitioners that are associated with KHOJ and 1.Shanthiroad Studio/Gallery. The first of its kind residency aims to develop a training ground for emerging curators who will engage with various modes of artistic practice as well as be actively involved in critical writing.  

We are pleased to invite applications from contemporary arts curators for the third residency in 2012.  

Friday, October 14, 2011

In conversation+Slide presentation with Artists- in-Residence

Bernhard Herbordt and Melanie Mohren are graduates of the Institute of Applied Theatre Studies in Giessen, Germany. Since 2000, they have created joint performances, installations, radio plays, (Music-) Theatre works and staged exhibitions. Since 2010 first Episodes of their long term research and archive project „Alles was ich habe“ (All that I have) were shown in Berlin, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Mannheim and Novi Sad. From 2008-2010, Herbordt/Mohren were fellows of the Academy Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart and 2010 at the new media center in Novi Sad, Serbia. Since 2011 Herbordt/Mohren are members of the Young Academy at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina.
They are part of the Residency programme of Goethe Institut at 1.Shanthiroad studio.

Pradeep Thalawatte’s artistic investigations incorporate highly urban situations: industrial materials, mass-production, pop/celebrity icons and personal episodes of his life. His works deal with absorption with urban allure, commenting on consumer anxieties and feelings of isolation and loneliness in the big city.

“The items chosen for the background in my work are mass-produced and mass used items and the images that are represented are individuals with whom I tend to associate very closely. What is expressed within the background and foreground represents relationships that cannot be ignored or avoided. They are decided based on personal selections, individual tastes, continued usage, authenticity and conveniences.”
He is part of Theertha Collective and has been awarded the Commonwealth fellowship to work at 1.Shanthiroad Studio