Folding: Fold, repeat, fold folding—or doubling—of my thought into yours. “The inside is nothing more than the fold of the outside” : announces the fold.
The above lines and a cacophony of text, word, image, and thought spanning nearly 20 years meet me as I walk into the dimmed art gallery in a quiet bylane in Mumbai’s historic Fort district. The halls are shrouded in darkness with jewel-like LCD screens emitting video art of unabashedly personal, intimate, narcissist, and at times erotic conversations of the artist with herself.
I find myself thinking out aloud: this is what it must be like to step into one’s innermost recesses—where demons and angels reside. Where battles are fought between our limitations and desires, and the uncrowned unvetted winners bask in themselves. Continue reading →
In respect to all, please know that these are historical photos, showing pictures, telling stories about those who are no longer with us.
I also acknowledge we are on Rann/ Forbidden Kingdom/ Wangai land; I take this opportunity to acknowledge all Elders, past and present.
Everyday everything goes back to the earth.
*The permission to narrate this story is given to me by the Family & Land.
~ Archana Hande
Archana Hande’s exhibition ‘I am a Landscape Painter’ is the story of Abdul Suthar, part true, part imagined. A Kutchch Muslim, Abdul leaves India, together with his camels, through the port of Kolkatta [Calcutta] for Australia. What he could have been, based on the choices that came his way, to where he eventually finds himself, deep in the 19th Century Goldfields trail, is recounted in Hande’s art through the landscapes he traversed. Continue reading →
There is the office ID card, the fancy pen, loose change, cell phone, a hand written note. Closer inspection brings to the fore yet further details: the worn Tee, crisp office linen shirt, the crumpled uniform, and slowly the faceless personalities defined by their shirt pockets fill the gallery, and I am in their midst.
It is as if a rainbow had burst and spread its colour, both over vast mounted canvases and minute egg tempered paper boards, alike. I stand in the grey walled halls of Chemould Prescott Road and blink. And then gawk.
As I step closer, yet another world unfurls—a satire rooted in broadsheet cartoons morphed into the artist’s personal commentary on recent social and political events and personalities in India. I recognize Arvind Kejriwal, Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi. I see athletes and war zones, Jesus Christ and Hindu priests. Continue reading →
As I push open the massive doors of Chemould Prescott Road, a colossal installation titled ‘Moderniznation’ depicting an aerial view of Bombay greets me. Pieces of car-scrap, aluminum sheets and found objects – materials used in the real built elements – spill over the gallery’s walls and floors. Miniaturized green mosque minarets, white church steeples and orange temple sikharas poke their way out of the sea of trampoline and tin squares. I look a little carefully and a cut out of the cricketer Sachin Tendulkar peeps out. Continue reading →
I was first introduced to video art in Cape Town, South Africa, at the National Art Gallery.
The video art of South Africa, as most of the country’s other modern art, finds itself emanating from the turmoil of its apartheid era, leaving the viewer ripped apart and then brought together into some semblance of wholeness. Video art, I learnt, was not meant as a once off viewing. Every time one watches it, a layer gets peeled, both in the narrative and in oneself, and the journey of exploration thus continues. Continue reading →