Ambiguous animation

It may not be a discovery that ordinary objects of importance and long-term handling drawn from around intimate as well as public spaces become somewhat invested with sensations, intuitions and emotions that people consciously associate only with the aims such objects serve.

Throughout time, yet, this situation assumes somewhat new manifestations, and the current, increasingly technology-based circumstances inevitably bring in specific results.

Between a rudimentary mechanism of utility and robots or computers imitating human behaviour, the boundary of the live or organic and the engineered tends to become hazy, while constant active use of animated gadgetry is bound to generate instinctive, even if unrealised, uncertainty as to how far the occurrences within one side influence those within the other.

Pors & Rao, or the Bangalore-based, Danish-Indian artist couple of Soren Pors and Aparna Rao, in their exhibition at Galleryske (December 1 to January 12) are fine-tuned to it all like some seismograph come almost alive.

As though reflecting the phenomenon, they always work and show together as a team while stressing, on the one hand, the process behind their technically having re-done the pieces and, on the other, their open-ended expectation from both the
exhibits and the visitor to interact dynamically towards a never quite defined but mutual impact that can be individually picked up and interpreted.

Thus, the title itself – ‘Applied Fiction (Reworked)’ – also adequately suggests an adjustable yet elusive relationship between the real and the fantasised, in particular between sentient human beings and mechanically or electrically driven objects that appear to act on their own and respond to people, their proximity generating never quite clear, verge states of animation and intention.

A wonderful quality of the actual display is that all such complexities came through simultaneously simple and layered images whose immersion in normal life triggered basic recognitions as well as unconscious, unexpected responses and mostly aspirational emotions.

On entering, one nearly stumbles on the “Sun Shadow” just above and on the floor opposite the glass door, its ray-tentacle body of an ink splash in low rubber relief looks flat like a drawing from the natural star and at the same time animalistic in its dormant plasticity with the softly jerky stir that seems to have its inner pulse and
respond to the viewer’s presence.

This partly true and partly illusory condition of moving towards animated things to stimulate them and let them influence one’s experience intensifies with a suitable sharpness and near-lucidity in the two part “Split Knife” emerging from and sinking into high-polished wooden pedestals. The Chaplin-like, three-dimensional cartoon figure trying to retain its balance upside down on a “Heavy Hat” entices one, rather than try to help it, to compare with or maybe test, its valiant vulnerability on oneself.

“The Uncle Phone” was a shiny red apparatus, immensely elongated as though with painful gentleness, allowed the spectator to empathise with the ordinary wish to connect through distance.

The playful humour there that reveals sensitivity has found a culmination in “Teddy Universe,” its bear shape under the ceiling translating a child’s cuddly comfort into the more adult feeling of secure awe on being enveloped by cosmic limitlessness, as the toy fur on close contact transforms into a night sky with tiny blinking stars.

At some point the spectator might doubt the precise, cool and shiny elegance of the works against the rough and the raw of the broader environment here, to eventually accept the same considering its privileged urban origin and address.

Alluring godliness

One remembers Sachin Jaltare painting atmospheric figures of a subdued sensual charm, their softly stylised realism being complemented by smooth stretches of abstract brushing with textures and tonalities.

His technical professionalism always served the need to please the eye. His new works from the series “Tales of Infinity” displayed at Kynkyny (December 21 to January 11) suggest that the artist has developed spiritual ambitions. While his stated intention is to capture the fusion of the human and the divine, the finite and the eternal, of duality and unity, the actual images depict mostly lover couples, indeed, equipped with sacred markings, however, rather devoid of anything other than indulgent cuteness.

In fact, their rendering is more sugary now than before, as evident in the kiss-curly mouths and such. If the painter wishes to reveal spiritual aspects of carnal passion through merging figuration with strong abstract elements, this results in a greater reliance on decorative design while clear linear silhouettes interact with modulated, somewhat plastic brushing and fragmented, flattened motifs that act in the way of patterns.

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