Prime Edition

Art finds meaning in accidental frames
NIDHI GUPTA  9th Sep 2012

Panic by Prayas Abhinav

f you were to visit Gallery Latitude 28 anytime soon, you'd be greeted by artist Amitabh Kumar's illustrated doormats – black rubber canvases with some intriguing drawings in black and white, and empty speech bubbles – littered around the entrance. As you wonder at the gallery's flippancy, you are handed a little booklet with the words to fill up the art that you just muddied with your rain-soaked shoes. "Remember that despite our savage fate, what saves us is no pedicure for porcupines," sermonises Kumar in the 20-page strip. Clearly, Glitch Frame Lollipop, as this exhibition is quirkily titled, has in store quite a few surprises.

This exhibition began as a conversation between three artists – graphic novelist Amitabh Kumar, writer Prayas Abhinav and installation artist Siddhartha Kararwal. Together, they wanted to bring a new dynamic to the existing contemporary art scene. Essentially, the show is a satirical take on contemporary art. They stress the importance of accepting crack-ups as they come, framing them within a canvas and rewarding oneself, even if life hands you lemons all the time.

The rubber mats in Supersensitive were cut by a cobbler who couldn't draw a straight line. The prints started chipping off almost immediately. But then, the moment the mats entered the gallery space, they acquired a meaning of their own," explains Kumar. His art, therefore, resides "in the moment of glitching".

Kararwal's installations exhibit this idea almost literally. Tomato Masher, a massive, suspended contraption made of satin, is an organic machine with teeth and intestines and a lot of red. He has also hung some processed and stuffed garments in the window of the gallery, imitating a butcher shop. For these, he has used export-rejected clothes made in Surat, which he feels are endowed with cultural history. For him, the glitch is a deliberate intervention in these works.

The show is a satirical take on contemporary art. They stress the importance of accepting crack-ups as they come, framing them within a canvas and rewarding oneself, even if life hands you lemons all the time

Abhinav's works use modern IT technology, in one interactive display, he has set up a screen attached to a keyboard. When you type on this, the words appear on the dark screen and then break out in a symphony of their own. Abhinav has also set up the Glitch Forum, initiated over Facebook, where he has invited young artists to interpret the 'glitch' on modern means of communication.

As part of this oeuvre, Megha Joshi's The Futility of Glitch-Anxiety-Response is a maze of voltage stabilisers, eggshells, chalk, cotton wool and wire. Hemant Sareen looks at photography – the genesis of which itself was a glitch – and talks of how mistakes and accidents are desirable in art through a collage of ghostly polaroid self-portraits. The forum will now be taking this show to Tokyo, informs Kumar.

The entire exercise, he says, was a process of finding out what they can put on display. Now, he himself plans to explore notions of time and space, triggered by a work called You Look Silly When You Fall, a denture set in a cake of degrading material, and by another where he's set up a doorbell which leads to no doors and a post-it saying: "The contemporary has no future".

Yet, it seems like there's still hope. "If new practitioners like us can come to fore, bring about something outside the realm of saleable art, then contemporary can go places," he opines.

Venue: Latitude 28

Date: Until 17 August

Timing:11am-7pm

 
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