It takes a strong gut and an even stronger will to emerge from the debris of a muted conflict. A group of 12 artists dared to do just that. Through their own expressions, as part of an exhibition titled Silent Conflicts, they ruminate on their troubles to highlight them sans the fear of laments.
Inner ordeals, for Pakistani artist Khalil Chishtee, manifest in his calligraphic work in metal called Definition. It deals with the power struggle in religious and less developed societies, where women and minorities live on the fringes.
“This piece has been composed using the most commonly used titles, relations and instructions associated with a respected woman. In other words, these are ways to live a respectful life in an organised society,” he says.
For artist Jagannath Panda, his work, The Gaze of Believer-II attempts to understand the multiple narratives of city settlements as an urban metaphor of everything being temporary. “The work recollects references from political and cultural history juxtaposes these with visual metaphors and awakens a sense of silence while balancing the space between predators and prey. The work also talks about the state of paradox, justice and equality that recurs in our memories,” Panda explains.
Taking the viewer beyond the idea of ‘personal’ is artist Veer Munshi’s 12x12 ft sculptural installation, titled Beyond The Personal. It is a a large skull decorated with paper mache, symbolising despair and dehumanisation, and comments on the terrorist attacks in Pulwama and Sri Lanka. “Alienation is a universal condition of the present times in Kashmir, Afghanistan, Palestine, Bosnia, Syria, Iraq and other such strife-ridden places.”
Through each visual perturbations, the larger concern about our societies future has been envisaged. In a way conflict has become a path to attain peace, believes Ashna Singh, the curator and director of Studio Art, presenting the show.
“Obsession with social media and consumerism, our inadequacies and constant need for validation, all have turned the war within. In this scenario, silent conflicts compel us to question where we’re headed. But unlike other wars, the choice to end this conflict is ours,” says Singh.
Silent Conflicts brings 12 contemporary artists to open up about inner conflicts that also reflect the current turbulence in the world. Together, they have put up 15 canvases, sculptures and videos to depict personal and political disturbances.
On: May 8-May 18,
At: Visual Arts Gallery, IHC