The latest part of the on-going Jaaga Sound & Lights project, "Living Building" (May 21 to 29) was an extraordinary event whose ambitious, cutting-edge character succeeded in triggering both rudimentary sensations subtle intuitions.
More than just being curated by Freeman Murray and Archana Prasad, it seemed to have shaped from their cooperation with eight young Indian and foreign artists.
This interactive premise indeed was reflected in the way they all worked together with the structure using forms and objects as well as the existing architecture to create an almost breathing surround whose comparatively static physicality became pervaded and sometimes nearly dematerialised by the dynamism of light, darkness and multi-layered sounds.
The impact was all the stronger that the artists took good advantage of the temporary frame character of the building which enabled the feel of the permeable and the transitory.
As the purplish lights, taped stretches, sound and a light cage by Corin Faife in a less evident manner studded and embraced the place at the same time indicating breaking up and remaking of things that at the same time are parts and the entirety, the contributions of Andrew Mc Williams integrated an abstract, slowly moving vertical image of gravitational forces and a more documentation-like audio projection about people involved with Jaaga's earlier projects.
"Figures" by Tobias Rosenberger traversed the floors passing as sometimes static and sometimes dynamic images of schematic shapes and hands drawing them that appeared to come on the textile walls and shoot through suggesting the uncertainty or subjectivity of entrenched signs.
As the environment had works from Lisa Kori, Freeman Murray and Sharath Chandra, one was quite enchanted, but a little disturbed, by Agnese Mosconi's eerily lyrical and sensuous mural of synthetic plants that opened their flowers to a person's proximity, the indirectly bird-water-like sounds enhancing the mood around a beautiful but alien growth.
Another wonderful piece could be seen from outside, as the top of the building became a soaring form of muted illumination and translucent shadows, as though a bird's nest, tent or sail.
Pooja Mallya achieved here an atmosphere around the desire for loftiness.
If one were to look for imperfections, it was a bit of over-crowding and the perhaps not so necessary intention to convey life's development from the simplest form towards an approximation at god as 'the enlightened singularity', which did not really come through.
"Thai", Krithika Srinivas do Canto's environment-like installation centred around her photography-based works at Shanthi Road Studio/Gallery (May 21 to 23), was a graceful homage to her grandmother made after the artist who largely lives in Berlin visited her in Coorg.
The work was a suggestive and sincere, but not entirely resolved, blend of sensitivity and literalness. One liked the little photographs best where close-up, fragmentary shots of the grand, though fragile and immobilised lady and her interior.
The soft, delicately blurred images with a touch of rawness let one intuit her loving, serene disposition, the occasional teddy bear witnessing her caring for the grandchildren and the hand-painted pastel tints evoking the vanishing old-fashioned era with its memory. The sparing frames with bits of embroidery were mood-full here, but turned decorative in the fabric collages. Loneliness could be sensed, yet the dainty whisky glasses spoke of the grandmother's early independent spirit.
The installation part inclusive of children's toys, saris, a wheelchair, etc, which was often juxtaposed with corresponding details in the photographic pieces, came through slightly obvious, more of an explanation than mood.
The whole, without going through the artist's text, did not on its own allow one to guess the context of the old lady's courageous generosity in encouraging her children and grandchildren to look for better life abroad which eventually brought her loneliness. This, yet, was not necessary to feel the atmosphere.