Artist Tushar Joag, in his uncanny installation, permutates perspex, plastic, brass, mild steel, wood, electric bulb and wires, to fashion figures representing a ‘cosmic army’ on the hunt for weapons of mass destruction.
Titled Enlightening army of the Empire, the eight figure artwork is all about “the American invasion of Iraq in the name of deliverance...to bring refinement, illumination to the citizens.”
Joag’s work finds itself among a repertoire of artworks by 30 artists across generations, finds place in an ongoing art exhibition at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art here. Aptly titled Constructs/Constructions, the exhibition, according to its curator Roobina Karode, addresses the passage that moves a creative work from the realm of a mental construct into the realm of a constructed image or reality to communicate through its form and content.
“It is focused on the close relationship between the act of making and the manifestation of thought and ideas,” says Karode. For instance, Zarina’s paintings, which seem to be nothing more than a collection of geometrical figures drawn on sheets of paper, are in fact deep reflections of her thoughts towards the happenings occurring around her.
Karode says the artist, who kept on changing residences multiple times, was intensely attached to her ancestral home. And, indeed, in one of her series, she has drawn, from her memory, different parts like the courtyard or the roof of her ancestral home, and how the weather was when she was there, and how the moon would look on different nights as she sat by the window. And it is responses such as these, particularly to the urban or cityscape, that brings the works of such diverse artistes together under one roof. The exhibition, says Karode, ‘focuses on a deeper interrogation of the urban condition, of built structures around us and psychological constructs in the everyday life.’
In his Elevator from the Subcontinent, artist Gigi Scaria takes a near satirical dig at the metropolitan invention of elevators, which has today essentially become an indispensable part of urban life.
Scaria’s artwork, an elevator cabin with three backlit projections and door system with micro-controller, takes viewers from the parking lot of their building, up to their respective houses on different floors, reinforcing ‘the accelerated pace of urban living and its translation into the anxiety of speed, hurried impressions and even claustrophobia penetrating our lives.” The Indian Modern Masters’ works, S H Raza and Ram Kumar seem to ‘comprehend the urban architecture, respond to its built spaces, mark the growing absence of nature, more than often highlighting moods of alienation, darkness and a mystery that engulfs city life,” says Karode.
“F N Souza’s dark heavy paint-laden lines frame manmade structures using an expressive impasto, captures stark and brooding images of sites, cities and places encountered early in his travels to London, Paris and within India, particularly the city of Benares,” she says.Through a plethora of many such thought provoking art works where at times two dimensional paintings seem to come alive and at other instances towers mark the urban existence depict the simultaneous existence of life and death in the churnings of the cities, the exhibition sets forth the worlds referenced by the artistes through “the kaleidoscope of history, mythology and art imagery.”
Among the other artistes whose works are on display include Adi Davierwalla, Anish Kapoor, Dayanita Singh, Ganesh Haloi, Gulammohammed Sheikh, Hema Upadhyay, Himmat Shah, Jeram Patel, K G Subramanyan, L N Tallur, Manisha Parekh, Mariam Suhail, Masooma Syed, Nandita Kumar, Noemie Goudal, Nataraj Sharma, Pooja Iranna, Seher Shah, Simryn Gill, Srinivasa Prasad, Sudarshan Shetty, Sumedh Rajendran, V Vishwanadhan and Yamini Nayar. The exhibition, sponsored
by Shiv Nadar Foundation will be on display here till December 15.