Art Talk

Sensory contrasts

 Sanjay B Joshi, untitled, installation, detailSometimes the striking nature of such experiments can shake off the perhaps numbing familiarity of the unilateral – only visual aesthetic perception that generates reflection, to thus enhance the viewer’s recognition and his or her involvement. Even though it was not devoid of certain inconsistencies within the concept’s actual realisation, Joshi’s exhibition proved a bold and largely successful venture.

The artist sought to make the visitor directly face the contrast between the moods around traditional, rustic ways of living and new urban ones dictated by denaturing industrialisation. His well-conceived method relied on the rudimentary evocativeness of simple objects for those to trigger broad associations. Its strength came from simultaneously limiting the number of artistic building blocks and imbuing those with multi-sensory qualities, the prime one being of smell. In fact, on entering the probably by deliberation untitled show, one did not see anything except five semi-architectural structures of cement and cow-dung with little window-like openings covered by heavy flap-curtains. Instantly induced to lift the flaps in progression, one had to lean inside to be overwhelmed by the emotive, tactile physicality of the substances and objects housed there acutely noticing the smell or its lack. The sequence revealed the logic of confrontations.

The stench of rotting city garbage thrown away from life’s processes was contrasted with the warm aroma of a palpable and soft, hand-moulded linga of cow-dung, the latter manifesting refuse as part of the existential and sacred cycle. The profuse arrangement of kitsch-bright, plastic flower bouquets and hangings was empty of smell in juxtaposition to the aromatic grace of the jasmine garlands and sampige blossoms in another container.
 
Analytical design and intuition

V Hariraam’s  latest exhibition (Time & Space, October 8 6o15) appears different only to suggest a crystallising and reaffirming of the preoccupation on a larger scale. The result was dual, more directly eloquent in its intent but somewhat too dependent on the conscious design-foundation.

These “Enigmatic Equations” works are now empathically geometric, even hard-edge and bright-coloured acrylics of pure abstraction, which resisting any reference to recognisable forms, aim at capturing essential sensations of life rhythms embedded in reality that reverberate of and participate in universal and spiritual pulses.

Hariraams’s allusions to Kandinsky’s throbbing linearity of urban street grids transcending towards cosmic structures may be noticed here, however, filtered through the memory of Op-Art. Whilst the paintings are ambitious, attractive and very cultured in rendering, their Modernist address and the optical illusion element, along with the designing emphasis, somewhat prevent a deeper experience of the spiritual content in the calculated effect, even though precisely that remains the painter’s aspiration.

Equally big in size, these canvases are lighter in hue, where delineated stretches of white echo in the sky blue rectangles. The gentle sharpness of the contouring strokes here indirectly hints at the presence of scientific and engineering tools of measurement.

Displayed in a hesitant perspective against a flat, geometric grid, they seem to be entering an infinite and intangible space, as the close or inner plane blends with the distant and external one.

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