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Drawing a contrast between realities

Dec 11, 2012, DHNS: 19:35 IST

JUXTAPOSED

At the age of 17, Siddhartha Tawadey left India to pursue his graduation in Finance and Fine Arts from London.

Having studied and lived there for 13 years, when he returned, the sight of the social reality of India disturbed and inspired him to express his opinion through his exhibition Geography of Solitude: In Between Spaces.

A multimedia combining photographic diptychs, found footage experimental films and appropriated image installations, the show illustrates the social narrative of London. The mediums display artist’s thoughts in an alternative interpretation of urban society in London in comparison to India. He explores these within spaces which are unnamed - such as cracks of the city constructs.

The exhibition is a mix of photographs, installations and films. For Siddhartha “medium doesn’t matter” since the vision of the artist is of utmost importance. “Art has bigger responsibilities than just aesthetics,” and thus he endeavours to showcase the social reality of India in its “blatant form. We have become apathetic to reality and close our eyes to it. But where is the freedom if there is so much poverty and constraint in our country?”

These views are reflected in his photographic diptychs titled - Ode to a Rose, Field of Dreams, Working Class Hero, etc. which draw a contrast between the two societies. His work is also inspired by books such as Joseph Conrad’s gloomy novella Heart of Darkness which contrasts the goodness and evil residing within each of us.

The film footage especially - the Empty Life series is inspired by Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali and juxtaposed with found footage from archives and footage bought in garage sales. “The truth is always on the surface, as we manipulate it through apathy and rationalisation. Visible truths in my video force the viewer to confront these realities as an ‘Empty life’ depicted through symbols and metaphors reflecting politics of food, poverty, gender, ethics, illiteracy and identity.”

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