10 Sep 2018

Art News: KMB 2018 - Kochi-Muziris Biennale releases curatorial note and expanded list of participating artists




Kochi-Muziris Biennale releases curatorial note and expanded list of participating artists

· The fourth edition of Kochi-Muziris Biennale will be held from December 12, 2018 to March 29, 2019


Kochi, Sept. 7: With less than 100 days to go for the opening of the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, the Kochi Biennale Foundation has released the Curatorial Note and an expanded list of participating artists for the largest contemporary art event in South Asia.

Curated by eminent contemporary artist Anita Dube, who is known for her politically-charged works, Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018 will focus on the theme of “Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life”. The main exhibition, along with an ancillary programme of talks, seminars, workshops, film screenings, and music, will take place across multiple venues in Kochi, over a period of 108 days, beginning December 12, 2018.

“At the heart of my curatorial adventure lies a desire for liberation and comradeship (away from the master and slave model) where the possibilities for a non-alienated life could spill into a 'politics of friendship.' Where pleasure and pedagogy could sit together and share a drink, and where we could dance and sing and celebrate a dream together,” Dube said, in her curatorial note.

As an artist, Dube has consistently challenged cultural norms and championed critical engagement across media. Her vision for the upcoming Biennale carries forward, at its core, a spirit of ongoing and decentralised collaboration.

The expanded list of participating artists includes nearly 80 practitioners from Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and the Americas.


Curatorial Note by Anita Dube:

“I remember Guy Debord’s warnings of a world mediated primarily through images—a society of the spectacle—as I write this note. That such a society is fascism’s main ally, we are all discovering in different parts of the world today.

Virtual hyper-connectivity has paradoxically alienated us from the warm solidarities of community—that place of embrace where we can enjoy our intelligence and beauty with others, where we can love—a place where we don’t need the 'other' as an enemy to feel connected.

At the heart of my curatorial adventure lies a desire for liberation and comradeship (away from the master and slave model) where the possibilities for a non-alienated life could spill into a 'politics of friendship.' Where pleasure and pedagogy could sit together and share a drink, and where we could dance and sing and celebrate a dream together.

In this dream, those pushed to the margins of dominant narratives will speak: not as victims, but as futurisms’ cunning and sentient sentinels.

And before speaking, they will listen, like K P Krishnakumar’s Boy Listening—to the stone and the flowers; to older women and wise men; to the queer community; to critical voices in the mainstream; to the whispers and warnings of nature—before it is too late.

If we desire a better life on this earth—our unique and beautiful planet—we must in all humility start to reject an existence in the service of capital. Through the potential of social action, coming together, we ask and search for questions, critical questions, in the hope of dialogue.”
K P Krishnakumar, Boy Listening, 1985. Painted cloth, fiberglass, plaster KMB 2018
K P Krishnakumar, Boy Listening, 1985. Painted cloth, fiberglass, plaster.

Expanded list of Participating Artists
Aernout Mik (Netherlands), Akram Zaatari (Lebanon), Arunkumar HG (India), Anju Dodiya (India), Annu Palakunnathu Matthew (India/US), Anoli Perera (Sri Lanka), Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook (Thailand), BV Suresh (India), Bapi Das (India), Barthélémy Toguo (Cameroon/France), Bracha Ettinger (Israel/France), Brook Andrew (Australia), Chandan Gomes (India), Chitra Ganesh (USA/India), Chittaprosad (India), Dennis Muraguri (Kenya), Domenec (Spain), EB Itso (Denmark), Goshka Macuga (Poland/UK), Guerrilla Girls (USA), Hassan Khan (Egypt), Heri Dono (Indonesia), Ines Doujak + John Barker (Austria + UK), Jitish Kallat (India), Julie Gough (Australia), Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba (Japan/Vietnam), Juul Kraijer (Netherlands), KP Krishnakumar (India), Kausik Mukhopadhyay (India), Madhvi Parekh (India), Marlene Dumas (Netherlands), Martha Rosler (USA), Marzia Farhana (Bangladesh), Mrinalini Mukherjee (India), Mochu (India), Monica Mayer (Mexico), Nathan Coley (UK), Nilima Sheikh (India), Otolith Group (UK), PR Satheesh (India), Pangrok Sulap (Malaysia), Prabhakar Pachpute (India), Priya Ravish Mehra (India), Probir Gupta (India), Radenko Milak (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Rana Hamadeh (Netherlands/Lebanon), Rehana Zaman (Pakistan), Rina Banerjee (US/India), Rula Halawani (Palestine), Santu Mofokeng (South Africa), Shambhavi Singh (India), Shilpa Gupta (India), Shirin Neshat (Iran/USA), Shubigi Rao (Singapore), Song Dong (China), Sonia Khurana (India), Subhash Singh Vyam + Durgabai Vyam (India), Sue Williamson (South Africa), Sunil Gupta + Charan Singh (India/UK), Sunil Janah (India), Tabita Rezaire (France/French Guyana/South Africa), Tania Bruguera (Cuba), Tania Candani (Mexico), Tejal Shah (India), Temsuyanger Longkumer (India/UK), Thomas Hirschhorn (Switzerland/France), VALIE EXPORT (Austria), Veda Thozhur Kolleri (India), Vicky Roy (India), Vinu VV (India), Vipin Dhanurdharan (India), Vivian Caccuri (Brazil), Walid Raad (Lebanon/USA), William Kentridge (South Africa), Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries (South Korea), Zanele Muholi (South Africa)

(Press Release)

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5 Sep 2018

Art News: 'Bend' - A solo exhibition of contemporary sculptures by Kalyan S Rathore



'Bend' - The Nature Of Change And The Order Of Repetition

A solo exhibition of contemporary sculptures by Kalyan S Rathore

Curated by Nalini S Malaviya

till September 29 at Gallery Manora, Bangalore


Aesthetics in Distortion

The preciseness of mathematical rules, the natural order in nature and the variants that occur during repetition, lie at the core of Kalyan Rathore’s art making. His sculptural installations derive inspiration from form, structure, space and aesthetics that occur in nature - as an innate incidence. Rathore explores elements of design, formation and spatial arrangement as observed in nature and their underlying patterns of morphology to recreate them in his sculptures.

Rathore has been working as an industrial designer and has conceptualised and created several large scale installations, which have been based on mathematical algorithms, and employ multimedia. Applying principles of progressive distortion, he repeats patterns to create motifs that resemble flora, fauna and naturally occurring elements. The sculptural forms appear to grow organically in a sequential manner, mimicking growth and patterns in nature, yet are reduced to a minimalist form that captures the essentials - the essence of the shape, form and motif in a geometric layout.

Serendipity from 'Bend' - A solo exhibition of contemporary sculpture by Kalyan S Rathore Curated by Nalini S Malaviya
 ‘Bend’ explores the variant that alters the mathematical code at the fundamental level, albeit from an artistic perspective, while applying mathematical rules such as the Fibonacci sequence and other relevant formulae responsible for the progression. For instance, the fractal defines a form created by repetitive application of a mathematical rule, where the form does not have to be homogenous, but it is precise. In the event of an error or variation introduced in the rule, the precision gives way to a slight distortion of the form, while retaining its essence, which is close to what is found in nature.

In the current suite of works, ‘Bend’ employs stellation to build the polytopes with new figures and forms - the essence of floral and animal figures, and patterns prevailing in nature. The sculptures explore plurality of probable motifs, genesis of natural forms, germination of organic life, and a multitude of possibilities that manifests in nature as an intuitive process.

Nalini S Malaviya
Curator
Bangalore
August, 2018

(excerpt from the curatorial essay)

Artist’s Statement:
Reality is warped. Straight lines are ‘straight’ only under the frame of reference we choose to adhere to. Mass is the summation of energy and Energy is an equally distorted idea too. We are left with no friendly-concepts in science when Quantum-physics walks into the room. The more we explore the more we push the wrinkles of uncertainty around the corner. This is not just a metaphorical position but one that rings true in the scientific communities as well.

‘BEND’ is my ode to the world of distortion. Distortion by design and Design by repetitions. Mutations that are born out of repetition and change.

Plural from 'Bend' - A solo exhibition of contemporary sculpture by Kalyan S Rathore Curated by Nalini S Malaviya

Perhaps the key to chaos is in Order. Can this order be harnessed and explained? The answers may lie in nature. Where nature chooses Geometry as a guiding template to render herself. I seek to find the common elements in every form; from an Atom to the Universe. In flora and fauna this seeming waywardness is apparent. On deeper inspection strict mathematical principles seem to govern the recipe for growth, structure and aesthetics. Geometry it appears is the solution nature turns to in order to negotiate and resolve the need for resources.

The sculptor in me wants to pin down a ‘minimum fundamental form’ that applies itself by replicating and changing at the same time. I present to you my series called BEND; The Nature of change and the order of repetition which is an ongoing exploration of Nature inspired structures.

The exhibition continues till September 29 at Gallery Manora, Indira Nagar, Bangalore

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31 Jul 2018

Art News: Grazie Infinite by Shraddha Rathi in Bangalore

Grazie Infinite by Shraddha Rathi in Bangalore, Art Scene India

Intersections of Infinite Possibilities

Shraddha Rathi explores the concept of gratitude, an expressive emotion towards an appreciation of life and for tangible and intangible gifts, in her new suite of works. She creates a narrative which is rich in emotional content and universal in its reach. From personal notes to community messages, the expanse of storytelling weaves a rich tapestry of chronicles, patterns and motifs of human sentiments, moments and memories.

Adopting a multi-media approach, Rathi, a practicing artist for more than fifteen years now, presents photographs, installations, paintings and a video projection in this exhibition. With this series, she emerges from the confines of traditional bounds and expands her artistic and conceptual horizons to put forth a body of work that has meaningful associations on a personal front and has implications for a larger context. 
Grazie Infinite by Shraddha Rathi in Bangalore, Art Scene India

In a significant shift this year, she created a gratitude bench with engravings of phrases and personal messages of thankfulness and appreciation. This bench organically evolved into the present suite of works and forms the cornerstone for her current engagement. Coincidentally, earlier this year she sighted the benches in Central Park, New York with their plaques that read out messages of gratitude, love, celebration and nostalgia. 

Thus, innumerable stories that are intimate and personal, which celebrate the joy of living and memories of life and loved ones, and that effectively translate this personal form of gratitude into community efforts, have coalesced to materialise in the artworks for Rathi’s exhibition. Photographs of plaques, benches and the surrounding landscape from Central Park form the artwork. In addition, inscribed messages on wooden benches, swings and a see-saw, and a video projection mapping of gratitude notes that projects the text onto various surfaces, including the witness/participant, are on display. Contextualising and integrating the notion of gratitude and its universality to Bangalore’s public spaces, conceptual maps of parks are represented in the paintings. The minimalist mappings offer points of reference to local contexts and create possibilities of artistic interventions.
Grazie Infinite by Shraddha Rathi in Bangalore, Art Scene India

The theoretical premise behind ‘Grazie Infinite’ is two-fold, to reiterate and acknowledge positivity as an indispensable emotion and to extend this engagement via site specific projects to the public arena. Rathi’s practice with this shift towards conceptual art and a minimalist aesthetics lies at the intersections of infinite possibilities, employing mixed media narratives and interactive experiences, while situating them within and outside the frameworks of conventional art locations.

Nalini S Malaviya
Art Critic
Bangalore, July, 2018

All images are courtesy the artist

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2 Jul 2018

Art in Decor: Art for Open Spaces

Art need not be limited to interiors of homes and can also be displayed in the garden or terrace

When we think of art for our homes, we tend to restrict ourselves to conventional art forms such as paintings for the interiors, and often neglect exterior walls, terraces and other open spaces.  Canvas paintings may not be the best choice for areas that are exposed to weather conditions but there are several other options which can be explored for open spaces such as the terrace, garden and large balconies.  

These areas are also used for socializing and interacting with guests, especially when the mercury rises and warmer temperatures make the outdoors more attractive and appropriate for entertaining. Instead of bare spaces devoid of art, artefacts or accessories a well decorated area makes it more intimate and pleasant.

Art in Decor: Art for Open Spaces, Art Scene India

From traditional folk and tribal art to contemporary sculptures and installations, there are multiple options which are suitable for open spaces. Over the years, art from recycled material has also grown in popularity as a display piece in the open air.

As these artworks will be exposed to different weather conditions and will have to withstand fluctuating temperatures and rain for a prolonged period, it is important to select them with care.  
Sculpting Evolution by Kalyan S Rathore, Art in Decor: Art for Open Spaces, Art Scene India

Sculpting Evolution by Kalyan S Rathore


Selection

  • When buying or commissioning artworks for open spaces one must consider the medium and the material which is used.
  • For instance, stone, fiberglass and metals which have been treated are more suitable for the outdoors.
  • Instead of buying multiple artworks, focus on one or two larger pieces that are likely to create a more striking impact.
  • It may also be a good idea to opt for customized art as an extension of the existing theme to create a cohesive effect.


Display

  • In open areas, art can be displayed on the wall, floor or ground and may also be suspended from a beam.
  • Murals can be painted directly on the walls or three dimensional artworks can be secured onto the wall. 
  • Large sculptures are ideal for open areas and are extremely versatile when it comes to their display. 
  • Installations, particularly multimedia and those involving light, water and sound can be especially stunning for large open spaces and form the perfect backdrop for a dramatic setting.
Open areas in homes are primarily informal spaces which may also be used for socializing and therefore it is essential to infuse a sense of fun and vibrancy through the choice of art.  Vivid colours can make the place animated and cheerful.  However, in rare instances when a formal décor theme is extended onto the open area, abstract and conceptual artworks are ideal for display.

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2 Apr 2018

Art Mumbai: Written on Water curated by Sanjeev Sonpimpare

Written on Water is a human experience, celebrating warmth of acceptance and belonging, writes Shubhalakshmi Shukla

Curated by the Mumbai based artist Sanjeev Sonpimpare, Written on Water at Gallery Beyond, Mumbai, brings together a miscellaneous collection of artworks by artists from Delhi, Ahmedabad, Kalabhavan Santiniketan, Baroda and Mumbai, with Alok Bal, Balaji Ponna, Binoy Varghese, Madhuri Kathe, Moutushi Chakraborty, Nilesh Shaharkar, Nitasha Jaini, Prasanta Sahu, Pratul Dash, Ritu Kamath, Ruchika W Singh, Sanjeev Sonpimpare, Sarika Mehta and Ushmita Sahu. 
Sanjeev Sonpimpare002, Industrial oil on canvas, 11.5'' x 23.5'', Written on Water, Art Scene India
Sanjeev Sonpimpare, Industrial oil on canvas, 11.5'' x 23.5''
The artworks explore artists’ individualistic search and concerns. Within these, the show interweaves with the current state of human consciousness, and issues related to gender, caste, class and race disturbance, violence and unrest.

“We all long for certain positivity to be there in our lives, and we constantly work on it just to set things in a pleasant state. It is in a constant flux, outside and inside. Let’s not deny that we all are living in times that are dark in hue. This instability and impermanence that we negotiate in everyday life become a way to remind ourselves that this may be the only instance let for us to greet each other, and move further with our lives," explains Sonpimpare in his curatorial note. 
Nitasha Haini001, Acrylic on canvas, 38'' x 48'', Written on Water, Art Scene India
Nitasha Jaini, Acrylic on canvas, 38'' x 48''
Some artists have chosen to view the inward turmoil, bringing to the surface the discreet narratives of the marginal, for instance, the Santiniketan based Prasanta Sahu. Others have chosen to detach the 'female body' from all the attributes of patriarchy, keeping the context of urban kitsch and beauty alive as in 'Aurat' by Kolakata based Moutushi Chkaraborty. While, Sanjeev Sonpimpare brings about an existential search for language, an unlayering of melancholy in the current times.
Madhuri Kathe002, Mixed Media on canvas, 60'' x 36'' Written on Water, Art Scene India
Madhuri Kathe, Mixed Media, 60'' x 36''

Dr. Madhuri Kathe’s concerns with the human body are subtly expressed, creating her visual idiom through layers of translucent fabric and colors to speak of human interiority undergoing social transformations and acquiring an unbelievable transparency. Nitasha Jaini creates a context for a new emerging identity of the city male in India, dissolving feudal and fundamentalist values of patriarchy. Ritu Kamath celebrates the new woman in the city, free of bondage and sufferings of the male dominated world. 


Ushmita Sahu, a participating artist found this to be an exceptional experience, “I feel when a fellow artist and friend curates a project, it gives participating artists a sense of freedom as well as ownership which was also evident in the regular sharing of thoughts and ideas by all artists in a dedicated WhatsApp group for several months leading up to the show. This camaraderie and commitment has translated into amazing works being created for the show."
Pratul Dash 001 to 003, Water colour on paper, 8'' x 5.5'', Written on Water, Art Scene India
Pratul Dash, Water colour on paper, 8'' x 5.5'',
Prasanta Sahu, Reverse painting with Acrylic colour on Acrylic sheet, 24'' x 24'', Written on Water, Art Scene India
Prasanta Sahu, Reverse acrylic painting on acrylic sheet, 24'' x 24''

“I have a feeling of accomplishment in bringing good works together, and see the show as a unified one, in terms of display and totality. Conceptually too, all artists have worked in sync to the concept note, but more importantly they were chosen accordingly,” expands Sonpimpare.

Written on Water is a human experience. It is symptomatic of high capitalism as well celebrates newness. Like urban affairs are often celebratory and momentary, the exhibition too celebrates with splashing warmth of acceptance and belongingness. What remains dark is the unsaid, the unspoken, the submerged and lost. The loss and erasure of personal history can be liberating and yet simultaneously scary, like a schizophrenic cacophony. How is human memory going to keep record of ‘celebration as celebration’ is the question!

The show continues till April 7th 2018.

About the Writer: Shubhalakshmi Shukla is an independent writer and curator based in Mumbai. Her first book on contemporary art practices Imagined Locales, is launched by The Studio X Mumbai.

 
All images are courtesy the writer

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21 Mar 2018

Art News: Building Bridges at Gallery Sumukha

‘Building Bridges’ at Gallery Sumukha is an international project conceived by Ushmita Sahu in collaboration with Emergent Art Space (San Francisco). The project was conceived to unfold over a period of one year from March 2017 to March 2018 in various stages with an open call for submissions from individual freelance artists of up to 30 years in age, working in video, photography, performance and sound art genres from across the world. 

Vishal Kumaraswamy Video Still 2, Building Bridges at Gallery Sumukha

The unique angle to the project is that it was conceived, curated and executed via the virtual platform. None of the artists, the curator or the sponsors had ever met physically. All communication has been conducted over the internet. After artist’s selection, in the month of October 2017, EAS & the curator conducted a closed community blog as an intrinsic part of the project, which was hosted by Emergent Art on their website.

The aim of the blog was to foster exchange and to facilitate a deeper understanding and knowledge of the other, to create a dialogical process aimed at encouraging and exchanging thoughts, ideas, images and texts about their works and their experiences, getting to know each other, exploring the others’ worlds, the ones similar as well as those more distant, for background, experience, country and culture. The underlying intent was to look beyond stereotypes and build lasting bridges between differences and distant points. The blog saw regular posts and interaction by the artists on various concerns and topics ranging from gender and body issues, to post colonial identity, transmigration and many more.
Dengke Chen 1, Building Bridges at Gallery Sumukha
After the month long blogging process each artist created new works for a tri-city show in India (Kolkata in January, Delhi in February & Bangalore in March 2018). All the works created are of digital format – whether photography, video, book art, augmented reality & animation or sound works, each has been created keeping in mind that the sharing process is also virtual in nature. The curator has been in constant touch over the internet, guiding and mentoring the artists. All the finalized works were sent to her, whereupon she downloaded them and got them ready in their physical avatar for the live shows.

According to Sahu, “Taking inspiration from Newton’s adage - We build too many walls and not enough bridges, Project BUILDING BRIDGES has aimed to encourage 13 young artists from across the globe to come together and foster a voice of reason and dialogue that will help create a platform for empathy, and understanding through art, creativity and exchange.”


Project BUILDING BRIDGES continues at Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore till 28th March 2018.

*press release