When Marco Polo Saw Elephants calls attention to a habitual nomadic criss-crossing of the globe, physically, politically, and spiritually. Marco Polo has become a symbol for the wanderer who searches and encounters the unfamiliar, drawn into new experiences and seeing, for the first time, what is both fantastic and ordinary. Wandering and seeking meaning, dislocated and settled, Jason, Ebenezer, Kathryn, and Rose create nomadic maps that span the globe.
The four artists in the show When Marco Polo Saw Elephants are connected to different geographies and cultures. They find meaning in ways that resonate both within their creative practices and their lives. Jason is an American living in Southern Germany. Ebenezer and Rose are Tamil Indians living in Brooklyn, New York, and Kathryn is an American who divides her time between India and the United States. All four artists engage in research and creative work that reflects their original locations and cultures. Jason, Ebenezer, and Rose are intentionally displaced artists living in foreign countries, trying to decipher and grasp their new surroundings. Kathryn mirrors their positions by engaging with Indian culture while remaining grounded in America. All four artists are alternately and simultaneously displaced and rooted, which is the thread connecting their work in this exhibition.
Jason Wallengren’s exhibit features photos taken of himself and his friend, artist Ebenezer Singh, a native of India now living in Brooklyn, N.Y. The photos of Singh, taken in 2009, show him in traditional Indian yoga poses. Five years later, Wallengren took photos of himself in mirror-image positions, and melded the two images together. Wallengren said the title of the main exhibit, When Marco Polo Saw Elephants, also reflects this meshing of cultures. “We’re all from somewhere living somewhere else, there is displacement in the work. It’s one world seeing another world.”
Singh in his small black-and-white watercolours, on handmade Indian paper, show him experimenting with various permutations of the traditional Indian elephant motif. As Singh gives an Indian’s perspective on the world, Kathryn Myers, the third artist in the show, ‘gives an American perspective on India.’
Born in Tamil Nadu, India, Rosebud’s abstraction and minimalism is the two-forked path that merges in the artist’s works. Her vibrant and essential geometric reductions help build her own city over her canvases.
Where: Art and Aesthetic, Lado Sarai When: January 19 to February 17 TIMINGS: 11.00 am till 7.00 pm