Prime Edition

Art from the ‘ordinaries’ of life
NIDHI GUPTA  13th May 2012

Gigi Scaria’s Burden of A Vitruvian Man

t is probably a sad consequence of our times that our artists have a lot of disappointment to express. Cynical Love: Life In The Everyday, the ongoing art exhibition at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, displays works by 18 contemporary artists who translate ordinariness and mundane objects into canvasses of significance, underlining the many ironies in the daily life.

For curator Gayatri Sinha, this extensive exhibition is about many things. To begin with, she chooses a site that in itself is a big paradox. "Museums are the spaces of preservation, of archives, whereas technology implies accelerated obsolescence. The Kiran Nadar Museum is located in a technological hub in Noida, which makes for an interesting crossroads," she explains. A sizeable number of the works she has selected have incorporated this dichotomy between notions of advancement and escape, development and degradation.

A video installation by Raqs Media Collective, titled The Knots That Bind Are The Knots That Fray, shows the last of the distinctive Titan cranes from Tyneside Swan Hunter shipyard in northern England being loaded up on a heavy vessel into the dock. Within the narrative of a shipyard, they give us inklings about worlds of passages, transitions and departures. "The work is both about drifting and coming ashore. Ties that hold things together and speed frays them apart," they say in a description.

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Gigi Scaria’s Burden of A Vitruvian Man depicts how Da Vinci’s master creation, which has been used as a parameter of balance through history, is itself going out of fashion as digital advancements have altered architectural spaces

There are other related notions too – of the architecture that technology encourages and of distances that disparities create between the urban concrete jungles and the rural idylls. Gigi Scaria's Burden of A Vitruvian Man depicts how Da Vinci's master creation, which has been used as a parameter of balance through history, is itself going out of fashion as digital advancements have altered architectural spaces. Pooja Iranna's Towards A Choking Presence renders the shock of urbanity precisely in a recorded journey on a bus from a rural heartland that takes a disruptive turn into a maze of skyscrapers and flyovers.

"This is a league of artists that have come to fore after the generation who 'arrived' on the global scene in 2007-08. These works express an element of doubt. More importantly, their art is also modest, unheroic," explains Sinha.

In this vein, we have Nandini Valli Muttiah expounding on nostalgia for childhood in Remembering to Forget, small vanities of the middle-class in Hair, depicted in photographs of adornments that south Indian women use. Lavanya Mani critiques colonialism using Kalamkari techniques and playing card graphics. Past all this, it is the regularity of flux that will hit you as you walk around the museum.

Through economic and natural turbulence, through borders and boundaries getting redefined and other tsunamis that sweep out decades leaving behind debris of a new history-in-the-making, you would feel deconstruction is becoming essential to make sense of time.

Venue: Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Noida

Date: Until 30 September

Timing: 10.30am -6pm

 
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