HYDERABAD: Existential. Experiential. Exploratory. Evolutionary. Contemporary art couldn’t have been summed up better. Four words, four isms, four distinctions. Distant from each other, yet, in the same periphery. Sartre may have smiled at these words, that try to defi ne the essence of ‘being and time’. How many elements the defi nition can actually tap depends on what sort of art works have been produced keeping the same in imagination and colours.
The art exhibition titled ‘Ho~ArT’, ongoing at State Gallery of Art as part of the recently concluded Krishnakriti Annual Festival of Art & Culture explores what lies inside a canvas, and a dissection of the same through various installations, sculptures and paintings by several artists. ‘Museum of Chance’ by Dayanita Singh focussed black and white photography. The 12 photographs pasted on wooden frames made for an interesting collage. One of the photographs captured a blooming diaphanous curtain through which fl itted light slightly highlighting the corners of an antique bed and chest of drawers. The moment is divided by the sheer curtain of two worlds: one within, another outside.
The two culminate yet remain separate like an apology to darkness. The time is not counted and only remains an indication of which path light is taking. Darkness spills in another photograph transmogrifying itself in a tall statue keeping a vigil over night. The elephantine structure engulfs what the photographer’s lens catches. This leaves the beholder wondering if he’s moving between axes of Existentialism or Experientialism; Søren Kierkegaard could have answered better. Reminiscent of Samuel Beckett is a large blurred photograph clicked by Atul Bhalla. The caption reads as: ‘Peripheral God’.
One can’t help but smile seeing the blurred toolarge- to-fi t-a-wall photograph of a dog searching for something in dirt in inky night. Its back is facing the back of a large crowd. The photographer did justice to the theme and choice of his subject. On a table lay spread artworks in clay. Titled ‘Black Molasses’ by Delhi-based artist Aman Khanna the works were in black hue. There were human faces, tumblers, bowls and other artifacts mocking the clay moulded in fl esh and blood.
Next to it, on a tiny card read a quote by art critic Francesca Gavin: ‘In a world fi lled with technology, nothing could feel more genuine and real than clay.’ The connection between layers of clay is established while at the same time there’s a disconnect especially when one tries to explore the other kind of ‘clay’. Artist Mukesh Sharma talking about his artwork ‘Botanic Monomania’ said, “I wanted to establish a dislocation between humans and technology, that’s why I used discarded computer screens out of which grow money plant.”
His artwork covered the whole wall, with a few leaves dying and drying. Another interesting artwork that covered the entire wall was by Mahua Sen. It consisted of a huge net work covering several tiny cardboard boxes on which were pasted blurred headless photographs. It was an artistic representation of social media with its mindless chatter and forcible likes and loves. The exhibition will be on till January 20.