VISITS displays a selection of works by artists from exhibitions or museums in India and abroad. We also include details about on-going and previously held exhibitions that we think deserve a visit!
INDIA ART FAIR 2017
India Art Fair's 9th edition took place on the weekend of 3-5th February at the NSIC in Okhla, New Delhi. We loved the art projects! Here are some of our favourites.
Woven Chronicle Reena Saini Kallat
A woven map made from electric wires gives the illusion that they're actually strings of yarn stemming from the balls on the ground. The map traces the routes of workers, labourers, refugees and migrants across the planet. The work aims to highlight the contradiction in how increasingly connected our world is, while there are still stringent immigration laws and closed borders that make it difficult to cross geographic boundaries. The work comes to life through a mixture of sounds such as ship horns, electric currents, migratory bird calls, phone call tones and electric pulses that resonate from between the wires.
Taj Mahal Sudarshan Shetty
The highlight for this year's art fair, this installation is constructed by stacking more than 250 miniature metallic replications of the monument on top of each other. While on the inside of the structure there is a bench facing a screen that shows a video of the actual dome of the Taj Mahal. Shetty's artistic abilities combine objects and mechanisms in a way that brings us to examine history, desire and ability. The Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world, has over the years, fallen prey to commoditisation. Shetty brings us to consider how a symbol of immortal love is abused through its several mindless reproductions in tacky materials and as souvenirs.
All The Flowers Are For Me Anile Quayyum Agha
This beautiful sculpture is constructed by laser-cutting and painting stainless steel. The intricately designed installation is the artist's ode to mothers - hers and others. The delicately cut and painted patterns stand as a metaphor for the identity, beauty and femininity of our mothers
KOCHI-MUZIRIS BIENNALE 2016
India's one and only, Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016 was curated by Sudarshan Shetty. Currently in it's 3rd edition, the Biennale spans across 12 different venues in Kochi, India and brings together a range of artist installations. It was hard to pick just a few favourites but here they are. All three works are the the Aspinwall House, Fort Kochi.
Pyramid of Exiled Poets Aleš Šteger
A structure in the open courtyard of the Aspinwall House made from mud, wood and dung, it provides a sentimental yet haunting experience as one walks inside through a narrow, unlit maze while a mix of murmurs in different languages play in the background. This pyramid draws reference from those in Egypt and acts as a 'resting place' or 'tomb' for poets who were exiled and disappeared from nations for centuries. The recordings inside are of poems by poets such as Ovidius Naso, Yan Lian, Joseph Brodsky and others for whom the pyramid is now home and whose verbal remains continue to linger and remind us of a world filled with challenges and obstacles
River of Ideas Chittrovanu Mazumdar
'River of Ideas', is a sculpture and video installation constructed out of hundreds of tiny electric bulbs, which stand as a metaphor for ideas. Although the artwork is open to interpretation, the artist believes it is a flowing river of fire, one that draws on the hidden River Saraswati from Vedic texts. Walking over the bridge through the many lightbulbs is uncomfortable because of the high temperatures they emit. However, coming out through the other side makes you turn around to think you made it through. It brings forth an important message - "You need darkness to see the light."
I make the new song born of old Sharmishtha Mohanty
An installation of poem and sound by Sharmistha Mohanty titled 'I make the new song born of old' (2016). Entering a dark room with cracked walls, facing out to the sea, you see the poem at once appear on the window and the floor, while the sound of the spoken words echo around you. She encourages you to sink into the room, inhabit the words spoken and written and question yourself about the meaning of language.
'ETHER IS ALL THAT IS' 2017
"Do not fear death so much but rather the inadequate life"- GR Iranna's solo show took place from 22 January to 8th March 2017 at the Gallery Espace, New Delhi. Here are a few highlights.
The show represents, at its core, the presence of ash as a metaphor for the inseparability of birth and death. While traditionally, ash or Vibhuti is applied to the skin of a child at birth, it also represents the end of human life. Iranna's growing fascination with the medium is reflected in each of his works. From the use of ash juxtaposed with muted colours on the surface of tarpaulin, to intricate designs and patterns of ash that run through the surface of paper. He takes it a notch further by employing the use of ash bricks in place of a reflective mirror and as a floor carpet. His paintings show the iconic branches that run like a network of veins through the surface of the tarpaulin, made from acrylic while incorporating other mediums such as charcoal, ash, and even silver foil. While most of his work is representational of Ash, one work shows the transformation - the burning of powdered sandalwood, slowly turning to ash as it changes tone and texture. The phrase shown, from the Chandogya Upanishad (Vol. 3. 4), stands for 'This great Being is endless and without any limit. It is a mass of consciousness only'. The exhibition echoes the nature of life with each work drawing you closer to take a deeper look.