The lockdown across the world has affected every industry, including the arts.From physically being present at the museum or gallery to view paintings, sculptures, photography, and other expressions of fine arts, the viewer is now left at the mercy of his mobile/laptop screen to do justic to the intricacies of detail and texture of an artwork. Bringing to fore this facet and also addressing ecological, social and political concerns of current world, Delhi-based Shrine Empire Gallery has launched a new exhibition titled, Speculations On A New World Order, on its website.
“I am wondering whether people will take trouble to see my work, as the work is meant to be seen physically,” says Afrah Shafiq, who has created a chromogenic print titled, now-where, for this show. “Here, on the website, viewers are required to zoom in the artwork to see how I have attempted to bring out the idea of domestic space. Once people scan QR codes embedded in the artwork, they will be further directed to watch a film, read a poem, play a video game and so on.” In her note placed next to her work, she links this act of looking with, “allowing the mind to travel while body is confined”.
Shafiq’s artwork displays her interest in linking technology with art. now-where expands on this interest. It is a digital iteration of her previous work, st.itch, which centers around women’s act of sewing, which takes them in a daydream-like state of mind. Shafiq displays this using technology.
Delhi-based Bhagwati Prasad has created an utopian world, through his series of works inspired by the poem Begumpura by Saint Ravidas, a 15th-century mystic. He says, “Through this poem, the saint visualised a casteless, classless city with no presence of untouchability. And I tried to interpret my artworks on this aspect.” In Begumpura, Prasad in his series also brings a number of agents found in our daily lives together as interlinked and in harmony with each other.
For the curator of the show, Anushka Rajendran, Speculations On A New World Order, was a distinct experience because it is for the first time she has curated a digital exhibition. She says,“Artworks meant to be seen in an immersive experience are viewed on a digital screen. Zooming in on an artwork is very different from moving towards the artwork in a gallery space. Given the difference in scale, some of the works had to be re-formatted for digital viewing.”
Fifteen per cent of the sale proceeds from the show will go to PM CARES fund.