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Finding logic in freefall
NIDHI GUPTA  18th Dec 2011

Juggernaut 3 (above) and Untitled mural on wooden panel

ontemporary artists have always made it a point to shock and awe, to dig at social values and hierarchies that we take for granted. Notes on Astaticism, Praneet Soi's latest work, pulls the ground out from under your feet, leaving you in a state of freefall. Astaticism means instability; and this exhibition, spread out over three floors at Vadehra Art Gallery, is bound to make you re-examine the logic in our world.

On the ground floor, Soi uses projectors and archival images to draw monochromatic figures in motion, which have architectural motifs imprinted on them. "We are surrounded by architecture in this world, even in relatively non-urban spaces. The idea is to insert fragmented images into humanistic figures to trigger deeper thought," he explains. For instance, in Juggernaut, he superimposes three human figures on each other, one monochromatic, one a jarring combination of black and blue and one with the architecture of a building chalked up on it. "I have attempted to depict the lineage of modernism through these figures and spaces," the artist comments.

The first floor showcases his work called Okhla Mandi, which features images taken in this bustling centre of economic activity. When the prices of onions skyrocketed, he returned to earlier pictures and found layers, just like in onions. Using red and blue cellotape, he connects, balances and brings attention to the different narratives in static pictures of men selling and buying vegetables. There is also a cinematic narrative of the Kumaratuli printer; random images and drawings of this printer in Kolkata, depicting the labour and choreography of work.Image 2nd

As you ascend to the final level of this roller-coaster journey, Soi invites you to create your own unstable art with the use of his sketches on transparent slides, a few cut-outs stuck on the walls and projectors on wheels. "Everybody has different perspectives and can arrive at individual analogies. I set this up to trigger some thought and interesting consequences," laughs Soi, who divides his time between India and Amsterdam.

Parul Vadehra, manager of Vadehra Art Gallery, says, "Praneet Soi brings ideas from the past two years together in this exhibition. It was exciting to see him painting a mural on a wooden panel right in front of us." In Notes on Astaticism, Soi breaks linearity and layers images, but leaves the final interpretation to the appraiser.

Venue: Vadehra Art Gallery
Date: Until December 24
Timing: 11am -7pm

 
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