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India Art Fair    Jan 30 - Feb 2, 2014

Looking for the Passed
Dhruvi Acharya
Looking for the Passed, 2014
Death and the Maiden (after Hans Baldung)
Anju Dodiya
Death and the Maiden (after Hans Baldung), 2013
Blue & Gold
Desmond Lazaro
Blue & Gold, 2014
Gigi Scaria
Dust, 2012
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India Art Fair

New Delhi | India
30 January - 02 February 2014

General Booth No C2 | Solo Booth No S1

Anju Dodiya | Desmond Lazaro | Dhruvi Acharya | Gigi Scaria | Jitish Kallat | Mithu Sen | Shilpa Gupta | Tushar Joag

Untitled, 2013

The black and white photograph shows the traffic light in Kolkatta where since 2011, new public address systems have been installed which play from Rabindranath Tagoreʼs songs. In front of the photo sits a microphone from which you can hear the song ʻCall of the Youngʼ intercepted with sounds of the streets and traffic. The microphone which is a medium to receive information, as if in a state of hysteria, has started emitting audio, perhaps in search of a missing audience. The work is about the aspirations of the state being projected in songs of the past about love, nature, youth, lost in the din of a crossing. The audio becomes a symbol to claim a past, but a symbol rendered dysfunctional in a country where exists yawning gaps between the slack state laden with corruption and dysfunctionality and the hopes of its polity.

Dust, 2012 | Persona I, & II, 2012

The focus of previous works by Gigi Scaria was the interrogation of the aggressive force of urban development and the dislocation, overpopulation, and social changes related to it. In dramatic contrast his recent series of photographs presents us with the spare images of the salt desert in Kutch. Kutch is a district in the western state of Gujarat near the Pakistani border. The photographs reflect upon the solitude the individual experiences when confronted with the uninhabited vastness of space. The overwhelming power of nature, its silence, and the eternity of the horizon allows for revelation and contemplation. The few human traces left on the unchartered terrain are reminiscent of a civilization that is environmentally exploitative and ruled by a logic of devastation.

Bridge of Wounds, 2013 | Last Highway, 2013 | Resurrection, 2013

In this series of watercolours Anju Dodiya explores the human self through the experience of her own interiority. The tragic/heroic aspirations of death that the artist narrates within these works simultaneously display rigor and tension. The dark realm of private emotions is counteracted by medical drawings that stand for scientific accuracy and objectivity. According to Geeta Kapur, Anju Dodiyaʼs ʻdiaryʼ pages offer a concentrated act of mourning (her own) death where each visage signals fateful stigmataʼ.

Looking for the Passed, 2014

Dhruvi Acharyaʼs painting is layered with graphic style deploying a narrative imagery in which she explores the complexities of motherhood, citizenship and artistry. She paints, through allegory, on the poetic as well as deperate moments in oneʼs emotional and intellectual quarrel. Solitary female figures act in a chaotic universe composed of varied objects, animals and empty speech bubbles that ironically point to the ʻfutility and fatality of human experience.ʼ Dhruvi Acharyaʼs paintings refer on drawings in her sketchbooks, which she treats like a daily journal, “chronicling the changing landscapes of my emotions, and the various portraits of my experiences. These drawings are ʻstream of consciousnessʼ, and inspire my paintings”.

Aspect Ratio, 2010 | Circadian Rhyme 2, 2012-13

Aspect Ratio is a 7 part lenticular panoramic photo piece wherein the seven colors of the rainbow and the image of a Mumbai street will flicker, and also flip and alternate between being a flat-color and having an image of the street emerge from it, as one walks past the work or even if one moves in front of it. The use of the panoramic vision was also adopted by Jitish Kallat in his 35 feet photo piece Artist making local call in 2007 where multiple time frames were captured in a single shot. In Jitish Kallatʼs sculpture midget-sized figures in frisker/frisked pairs form a transit queue that gives a performative view of cosmopolitan travel and forced migration in the age of globalisation. “Circadian Rhyme takes the form of a miniature allegorical theatre. Borders, and with it elusive notions of territoriality, are animated through the trope of encounter. This absurd ceremonial choreography is perhaps also calligraphy reciting a cautionary tale, the cursive script hinged by probing touch. Circadian Rhyme like much of my work comes from a desire to set afloat oneʼs artistic investigations within the wider mysteries of planetary rhythms or cosmic cycles, to survey the terrestrial by correspondingly evoking the celestial. The bodies turn like hands on a dial face and cast shadows, their dimension diminished as if viewed from afar, in the order of a palindrome to be read from both ends” (Jitish Kallat).

Blue & Gold, 2014

Desmond Lazaro was trained as a Pichhavais artist who moved away from Pichhavais imagery but continued with the technique. One of the motifs of this early period was Krishnaʼs great circular dance where the god appears in multiple forms to the Gopis (individual souls) on the autumn full moon night. It is one of the most iconographic images in the Indian pantheon, depicting the universal principal of unity in multiplicity – multiplicity in unity – a tenant of all religious traditions. In his new work ʻBlue & Goldʼ, Desmond Lazaro revisits Krishnaʼs circular dance although it is through the original Sanskrit text rather than a visual image. He uses gold gilding technique that refers on the medieval Christian illuminated manuscripts tradition. Blue and gold are colors that resonate in almost every culture, having secular and sacred meaning. From Krishna, the Virgin Mary, Christian Icons, and heraldry to the modern painter Yves Klein, blue and gold know a long history charged with symbolism. ʻBlue & Goldʼ is an extension of Desmond Lazaroʼs earlier ʻBaptism Seriesʼ where he used gold gilding technique and blue to draw on records by an unknown script from the 19th century. Found in a church ledger these records unfold different stories of different people. In the same way ʻBaptism Seriesʼ recalled personal histories through turning words into lives and lives into histories, ʻBlue & Goldʼ recalls a collective narrative that is not only prevalent in Indian tradition, but spans all cultures and religions.

The Enlightening Army of the Empire, 2008

These drawings by Tushar Joag refer on his large scale installation 'The Enlightening Army of the Empire' which is at display in a solo booth. According to the artist “this work was first conceived during the American invasion of Iraq. In the name of deliverance, the war sought to bring “refinement and illumination” to unknown citizens. The comic army is made up of lights to enable a search for those imaginary ʻweapons of mass destructionʼ “ (Tushar Joag). The drawings are of awkwardly looking low-tech robots the artist reveals the US as a hypocritical imperial power that openly hoards and uses weapons to devastate countries like Afghanistan. A gargantuan weaponry is deployed against unprotected citizens rendering them homeless and dispossessed for the sake of democracy.

I Chew I Bite, 2013

Dental prosthesis has been part of Mithu Senʼs work since the ʻtime of inventing my language in artʼ. In line with hair, teeth, bone, and blood it is the literal expression of pain and agony inscribed in the body. It also serves as a metaphor for revenge, heroism and perseverance. The early childhood memory of loosing the first tooth tells us about the childʼs growth and maturity and in a wider sense of the regaining of everything that is lost in life. Biting is an act of defense and sensuality, demonstrating anger and love, desire and seduction. ʻIn my work, itʼs the pain and horror felt by chattering teeth… they emote a lot of my feelings in the closed quarters of my body. My works have had varied transformations where teeth grew almost incidentally and each time they are sensual and suggestive. More such anecdotes profusely work me up when I just want grind my teeth in despair…ʼ (Mithu Sen).

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