GALLERYSKE, Bangalore is proud to present
A group show featuring works by Sreshta Premnath, Minam A., Sakshi Gupta, and Avinash Veeraraghavan.
Preview: Sunday, 20 July, 2008
On display: 21 July – 25 August, 2008
CURRENT features works by four young artists with current practices and creative vocabularies. The premise was simple: the artists were invited to respond to the word “current” with it’s various implications—of wind, water and electric currents and the quality of being immediate and contemporary. Each of the four artists has approached the idea with his/her own specific biases and predilections.
29 year-old Sreshta Premnath is based in New York. His work, Infinite Threat, Infinite Regress is a two channel video installation with sound. One projected video loop is a manipulation of the well-known scene from Bruce Lee’s “Enter the Dragon” where he confronts his enemy in a chamber of mirrors. In the video, all sequences featuring the enemy have been edited out so that one encounters Lee, as he winds his way through this chamber ad infinitum. Across the space from this projection Sreshta has positioned a TV monitor playing a second video loop that features an abstract colour pattern (representing various terrorist threat levels) that slowly changes from yellow to orange, and occasionally red.
(For more information, please refer to the artist statement.)
Title: Infinite Threat, Infinite Regress
Medium: 2 Channel Video with Sound
Editions: 5 + 1 AP
Sakshi Gupta, who is 29, is based in Delhi. A sensitive young sculptor, Sakshi’s approach involves the reconstitution of the materials she employs by helping them escape the associations they are branded with. Sakshi often composes her works from discarded scrap, re-engendering this ‘waste’ to compose works in which the material transcends it’s mundane, often industrial origins. Despite the heavy materiality of her medium, her works successfully tie together propositions of fragility, inflexibility and ephemeral lightness. This hardened position of negotiating and intermixing polar opposites has evolved over a period of time.
The spectacular ceiling-suspended sculpture she has made for this show appears to be an everyday electric fan in the process of moulting its skin that has been shrugged off to the corners of the room.
The piece is particularly interesting for it’s zoomorphic engendering of a mundane object of domestic use. Though perfectly still, the sculpture manages successfully to suggest movement, organic energy and agency.
Title: Some Beast
Medium: Scrap iron
Dimensions: Approx 7’ (Diameter) x 7.5’ (length) – overall dimensions variable, contingent on installation arrangement
Minam A who is 28 year old, is originally from Arunachal Pradesh and works primarily with ink on paper. Her present body of work draws on the liquid worlds of ancient myth where humans, animals and the elements co-exist in close symbiotic harmony.
Minam’s work for CURRENT, Because I often need to be reminded, comprises a sculptural painting using inks on 300gsm fabriano cold press archival paper, cotton thread and glue. The painting has a fold down the middle that simulates a mountain peak. Tucked beneath this mountain peak are delicate ‘bridges’ fashioned from thread and glue. These resemble traditional cane hanging-bridges commonly found all over Arunachal, spanning gorges across the River Siang. For Minam the delicate bridges concealed beneath the paperwork mountain-peak acts as a metaphor for a connection to a history and culture she identifies with: a culture that is fast fading and getting washed away (as many hanging bridges are) by the inevitable flood of time and change.
The imagery on the paper is composed of ink-spills that she transforms into complex micro-narratives, peopled with creatures, vegetation and patterns that follow the same disconnected, non-linear dream-vocabulary of myths and folktales, in which the elements of the narrative are not restricted by formulaic structure or logic.
This particular work draws on stories from Verrier Elwin’s, Myths from the North East of India. One of the stories, for instance, relates to how original man studied the spider and was inspired to weave fabric and construct the first hanging bridge. Another narrative, Ted Hughes’s, Iron Man, is referred to and is also physically present in the work in the form of the largely indecipherable writing surrounding the central image.
Minam’s syncretic approach in articulating her creative concerns results in a work that emphatically resists formal/structural and conceptual definitions, attempting instead to “to take disparate things and make a new whole” (Jeanette Winterson).
Title: Because I often need to be reminded
Medium: 300 gsm fabriano cold press archival paper, cotton thread and synthetic glue, displayed in granite stone slab
Dimensions: 26” (length) x 22.5” (width) x 5.5” (height)
The fourth artist Avinash Veeraraghavan’s light installation, Lost in Traffic, comprises very simply of a row of 80 monochromatic, ceiling-suspended bulbs that seem to go on and off at random. When observed more closely there appears to be a method to the madness. The lights may be seen as an abstract replication of vehicles approaching and receding from a traffic signal. An extension of his 2004 work, How Many Shadows Have You, this piece also recreates the disorienting experience of watching your shadows split up and float away with the movement of the lights, as though by a will of their own.
Title: Total Internal Recall
Medium: Digital print on Arches textured paper, single channel video played in a loop
Dimensions: 42” x 56” (print), 1:40 seconds (played in a loop)
Editions: 5 + 2 APs
Avinash’s two-part work, titled Total Internal Recall, comprises inkjet prints on archival photo rag paper and a single channel video. The title is derived from a term in optics (‘Total Internal Reflection’) when light travels from one medium to another and is in some circumstances, reflected back (take for instance the experience of looking into a lake and seeing the sky reflected instead of seeing into the water). The main image is constructed from patterns of varying densities, the layering of which composes the dark and light areas that form the image of a sleeping face. The patterns used in this image were sourced from illustrations of human anatomy and floral patterns. The single channel video component of the work appears to be a collage of moving images connected by abrupt jump cuts and snowy transitions as though the small TV displaying the video were ‘auto-scanning’ through the channels.
Title: Lost in Traffic
Medium: Electrical wiring, coded circuits, bulbs
Editions: 3 + 1 AP
Dimensions: 15’ (length) x 7’ (height)
Editions: 3 + 1 AP
Avinash Veeraraghavan’s body of work is primarily autobiographic and introspective, starting with the visible extrapolating into a psycho-emotional space. Much of Avinash’s work relates to everyday and yet apparently invisible mental activities. Total Internal Recall attempts to address thought, a universal and surface activity of the mind, pictorially and converts the real into fiction, memory into dreams and history into fantasy. The single channel video addresses his theory that rational thinking apart, our daily lives also constitute an emotional chaos in which we are increasingly seeking gratification, avoiding pain and demanding relentless entertainment.