‘The works by Pors & Rao at Art Basel Hong Kong delve into the autonomous parts of human behaviour, especially as it manifests in the nuances of movement,’ writes Uma Nair.

Discoveries at Art Basel Hong Kong had quizzical art lovers coming to the Gallery SKE Booth and standing in front of a set of works that move when humans approach it. Pors & Rao created a flutter at the India Art Fair this year when their little glass box with a plain sheet of paper seemed to be blowing with the wind inside the box at the Gallery SKE and Photoink Booth. A gust of wind was shown at Art Basel last year and it was made from plastic, wood, metal, electro-mechanical components, and artificial paper.
Pors & Rao have been presenting a constellation of animatronic works that were initiated in 2009, 2012 and 2017 and finalized in 2018, all reflecting on autobiographical patterns of emotional dependencies and power dynamics between the individual and the environment.
Ideas and works are seen as self-conscious 'beings', often acting out performative and algorithmic behaviours such as fatigue, fear, shyness or longing. The visual language often employs elements derived from animated cartoons and computer games. Four works stand apart at Art Basel Hong Kong. The first is a work on the floor called Pointer and Shadow. This animation and animism reference is also visible in the proposed floor work Pointer and Shadow, where a three-dimensional white-gloved hand in painted fibreglass (referencing a computer pointer icon) is hovering in the air just above the ground, pointing downwards.
The second is Imperial Monochromes – a wall installation of 8 monochrome panels of different sizes. If undisturbed, the panels resemble a suprematist composition, chaotically arranged in different directions and angles, but as soon as the viewer comes near the installation, the panels quickly pivot to appear as a strict symmetrical arrangement reminiscent of family portraits of the Renaissance or religious altarpieces.
The third stunning sculptural installation is exploding view – a set of elements that coalesce together and then move along a radial in linear motion. It explores a notion of memory grooves that together form a recollection of a single moment and reveals its emotional content, similar to how a lump of compressed coal is split open. The 'view' is built of a simple iconography in approximate similar sizes, resembling the uniformity of a google image search. An explosion gives birth to an orderly image, like the big bang in a pixie format. It's the elements that are most enchanting.
The fourth work and the only acrylic is called Gum Figure. The corner work shows a juxtaposition of the creation, as if the walls have been made for the unusual bodied figure that at once reflects symmetry as well as the unusual nature of patternicity which ensues in creating shapes that are unpredictable as well as rare, shapes that create sensory states of being involving the ideation of both vulnerability as well as captivity and the state of being.
The works delve into the autonomous parts of human behaviour, especially as it manifests in the nuances of movement. These subtle expressions of the body are perceived as a primordial language of consciousness that is shared with many other species on the planet.
Uma Nair

Uma Nair

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