…What Deleuze and Guattari visualize in a rhizome is that “it ceaselessly establishes connections between semiotic chains, organizations of power and circumstances relative to the arts, sciences and social struggles. It, like language, evolves by subterranean stems and flows, along river valleys or train tracks; it spreads like a patch of oil.” It resembles grass. Unlike a tree, grass is always on the move, always forming alliances with the world outside as it spreads across and across the surface of things. It is essentially heterogeneous with multiple realities, and so is this exhibition. “Why is the exhibition on works on paper only”? Be it “Art on paper gallery Johannesburg”, “Art on paper magazine (New York)”, “Sydney art on paper fair (that exhibits works on paper once every two years)” and many other creative activities of its kind, paper becomes the focal point for being affordable, abundantly available and, essentially, an intimate medium. It contains distinguished factors and is advantageously suitable for experiments which appear to have no limits, just edges. Being a lot less expensive than canvases, it encourages artists to experiment freely and provides the luxury of depicting light and colours in the subtlest way. It allows artists to explore their visual language and learning process. Simultaneously, it seems to want a thin wash of paint that takes advantage of its texture and ends up looking more transparent and lucid, more like water colours that entrust themselves to an audience to be read. Our best effort, here, is to provide a distinctive occasion to view paper works by an eclectic group artists of our generation.
Coming from different regions, metropolises and covering a major portion of Indian geography, these artists paint a diverse and interdisciplinary nature in this exhibition. The constraints and contradictions of urban experiences open up several layers of challenges before life. Arranging still and saturated space (Yashwant), critiquing consumer culture and alienation (Sanjeev), analyzing gender trouble (Mithu Sen), showing spontaneous behavior (Jagannath Panda), questioning oppression of labour and virtual reality (Riyas Komu), colouring an imaginary world (Piyali Ghosh), demonstration against war and terror (TV Santosh), desire of love and longing (Nikita Parikh) and many more, all of which directly draw our attention to the heterogeneous reality and multiple problems of contemporary culture. Altogether, they spread out and create a form of plateau that has no beginning and no end but remain a process. As Gregary Bateson uses the phrase “it is a continuous, self-vibrating region of intensities whose development avoids any orientation towards a culmination point or external end”. They communicate with one another at a micro-level. Rather than signifying pre-constituted measures, ‘Pulsating Rhythms’ is meant for surveying and mapping this expanded plateau with multiplicity, lines, segmentaries, bodies without organs and bodies with mythic organs, their construction, selection and plan of consistency.
Rathin Kanji, at one hand, transcends regional boundaries to merge the gap between different geographies and finds inherent fear and insecurity in urban India, Alok Bal, on the other, depicts the repetitive columns and shoddy lanes of the contemporary city in a palette of dirty grays. Yashwant Deshmukh relishes flat absorbing colours to re-arrange the empty space and establishes its relation with forms and objects within. His passion to re-formulate his visual experience into simple objects of daily uses creates a magnetic tension between space and objects. Nostalgia and playfulness of Nikhil Baruah take him towards the seaside of limitless space and vast blue skies, away from the polluted and noisy city life. Since the last decade of 20th century, when metropolis entered our lexicon, third world Indian towns have grown with first world aspirations, which take the sudden attention of artists of the coming generation. A flood of migration, exploitation of labour, homelessness within our boundaries, fear, insecurity, terror, violence, alienation, etc….all become the most contested terrain of our artists. Sanjeev Sonpipare and Riyas Komu critique the very notion of consumerism that endlessly manipulates our energies in passive ways and make life frugal and cheap. Dominance of machine over man often alienates people in technologically challenged societies. TV Santosh writhes with pain and despair against war with his monochrome works. The anguish and torment of people of the North East is rendered in a heart breaking way where, an easily recognizable ethnic lady is begging to be rid of her agony and distress. His butchered hands tremble for “NO WAR”, to make a peaceful society not for him, but at least for the coming generation.
Mithu Sen, known for investigating her known and unknown selves, sees unconscious instincts of sexuality and aggression behind all human life and culture. Her recurrent motives taken from within the body- blood and bones- questions the notion of female sexuality theorized within masculine parameters. She creates her own beauty of being a woman and analyses many substitutes for sexual pleasure and desire. Piyali Ghosh creates an alternative imaginary world of composite animals, common genders and amphibians to question socially constructed gender discrimination, for want of a more pragmatic explaination. Minutely rendered lines, curves and bends move according to changing emotions. Opaque colours and sedimentary strokes also capture the disastrous nature of Nature. It is not always a beautiful zone to love and live in.
Like stems, Zakkir Hussain’s coloured pieces emerge with a kaleidoscopic vision. These fragile and tender stems stand together as a chain to strengthen hope and survival. Their interdependency and bond of existence are leitmotifs of Manjunath’s work. He refuses to use plots and his work exemplifies the use of multiple narrations and its concerns with fiction and representation of self. The real interest lies in the numerous digressions, whimsical renderings, speaking creatures and allegorical figures. His apparatus tactically open up several layers of meaning behind the creation of a work of art and its relation to life. Pradeep Mishra relives the migration and separation of birds and trees like human beings. Their bonds often point towards death. Pooja Iranna’s works are also born out of the union of the situation represented with reaction and changing mental state. Covering several subjects and ideas, the entire gamut displayed here paint a long stretched field containing several experiences, expressions and connotations of complex urban locations and inner realities