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‘A Working Title’

Curated by Shalini Biswajit

“In all the arts there is a physical component which can no longer be considered or treated as it used to be, which cannot remain unaffected by our modern knowledge and power. For the last twenty years neither matter nor space nor time has been what it was from time immemorial. We must expect great innovations to transform the entire technique of the arts, thereby affecting artistic invention itself and perhaps even bringing about an amazing change in our very notion of art.

—Paul Valery, Pieces sur L’art, Le Conquete de l’ubiquite

A generation of artists is embracing technological platforms to create a visual paradigm in their art practice. For an artist engaged in such a practice it is exciting to manipulate, recreate several times over, stretch, skew and paraphrase artwork that is delivered through a technological scanner broadly classified as New Media. There is a seamless transfer of artwork from ideas to visualization to creation to production using software. Their approach to art is dynamic in the true sense with unlimited variables allowing the freedom of reproduction in multiples by choice. The value of each multiple sometimes self limited by the artist never the less opens up a wide spectrum of possibilities, clientele and art appreciation.

‘A Working Title’ showcases photography, graphics, digital art and video installation that explores the possibilities of digital medium and is at the moment perhaps an ‘ism’ in progress.  The advent of technology is changing the concept of art and the direction it is heading is revolutionary and exciting rather like a work in progress and hence ‘A Working Title’.

Shalini Biswajit

 

Artists have been trying to create a visual language, as original as possible, ever since the privileging of ‘art for art’s sake’ became viable in the cultural sphere. The digital age with its infinite possibilities of dissemination of information, and its multiplication and repetition has challenged this notion. The Working Title seeks to grapple with the digital phenomenon, virtual and visual, that has simultaneously universalized and fragmented the visual experience. 

In her two sets of works, Kanchan Chander’s dialogic with her artistic self is mediated by popular imagery of the divas of yesteryears in their black and white glory and with Frida Kahlo. On the pristine digital image she layers ‘feminine’ embellishments: adorning the self, the woman and the experience of being a woman.  The construction of the self conscious body, to be displayed and celebrated, can also be seen in Praveen Goud’s electro-sapiens in which science, technology and  fashion coalesce into art, visually and socially, in the new  global world. 

This new world is dominated by digital artifacts such as the ubiquitous keyboard seen in Mukesh Sharma’s works. He uses these keys as symbolic entre ports into the urban globalised lives that allow us to enter, delete and negotiate our thoughts, actions and relationships. Ravikumar Kashi plays with the traditional alphabet chart, in which each alphabet has dual signifiers – tangible images and intangible mentalites.  The new set of associations thus thrown up suggests inversion, and more interestingly the subversion of the dominant commercial and social order. 

Subversive imagery of the globalizing digital age, with its consumerist excesses can also be seen in Birendra Pani’s digital photographs that juxtapose the mundane such as the capsule, with its accumulative signified impact. Harsha Biswajit also uses repetitive imagery to emphasize the flogging of familiar visuals with their contiguous socio-economic values in the new digital environment.  Diminishing significance of craft traditions and concomitant life cycle are the main concerns in Clare Arni’s photo-documentation agenda that goes beyond stark reality of disjuncture to reveal the lyricism of continuity underneath.

Continuum between visual and philosophic tradition, between myth and reality, between technology   and creation, between self and the ‘other’ define Seema Kohli’s work as she seamlessly negotiates between painting, digital prints, and performance.  Bandeep Singh’s digital photographs explicate on the origins of life, of nature and the universe through the ghata or the earthen vessel and the feminine form, delving into the philosophic and textual sources to recreate the beginning of time, space and life.

 All the artists in the show explore the global and local cultural contexts through their interaction with new media, be it photography, printing, or manipulation of the digital image, creating an interactive environment in which art and artists can dialogue with their roots and with the immediate environment.

Dr. Seema Bawa 

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A Working Title

 ‘A Working Title’ showcases photography, graphics, digital art and video installation that explores the possibilities of digital medium and is at the moment perhaps an ‘ism’ in progress. The advent of technology is changing the concept of art and the direction it is heading is revolutionary and exciting rather like a work in progress and hence ‘A Working Title’.