HYDERABAD: Nostalgia and consciousness are parallel search points for ephemeral and archetypal, semiotic and symbolic, mythical and mundane. The discovery leads to a layer of truths and half-truths, disguised in cityscapes, architectural facades and a maze that crosses its path with the mental-landscape intertwined with multiverse of images, each one canceling and filling the lacunae between the past and the present. This quest is a difficult one both for the artist and the audience. But delving deep into it also brings to surface a multitude of questions that are reborn everyday on the forests of faces across the globe.
Artist Vijayaraghavan S succeeds in doing precisely that through his art exhibition ‘Traversing Empirical Spaces’ ongoing at Goethe Zentrum Hyderabad. The works put on display showcase urbanscapes dotted with the connotations and control of space. Art critic Sudeep Ghosh rightly puts it in the introductory note: “Space, the unifying rhythm, mobilises three levels of cognizance – cultural, architectural and futuristic which are inextricably intertwined. Its dissemination into history, popular culture, technology and digital media unmasks ideological interfaces, unties knots of desires and unravels binary opposites in artistic paradigms.” That’s how in one of Vijay’s artworks titled ‘Redemption of Past Memories’, one sees a cluster of buildings cluttered with hands, wires and, quite interestingly, QR Bar codes.
The mixed media acrylic work on paper also sees hand growing from the ground. The blue of the sky looks a mishmash of washed colours seen from a broken prism. The sense of hegemony makes a mockery of the false sense of control denizens, otherwise think, they have. This also draws parallels in the spaces across the world controlled by several powers, somehow, represented through these hands. Author Githa Hariharan, who was present at the launch of the exhibition, summarised it in her own way saying how places in different parts of the world have similarities.
Other artworks explore the vastness of the skies punctured with tall minarets or wires. Another interesting oeuvre is the artist’s video installation of an LML Vespa scooter wearing a garland around its ‘neck’. Several hands holding various objects sprout from both its sides summing up the consumer-driven power-hungry movements in the society. The 26 opuses focus on the idea of deconstruction bringing to attention the details which otherwise go unnoticed.
— Saima Afreen