×
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Dissolving social peripheries

As a contemporary artist, Pragati finds herself straddling several roles and attempts to reconcile and represent these diverse anxieties and complexities, which emerge from her situation and standpoint, and as an active observer of people and shared environments around her.
Last Updated 03 March 2024, 01:32 IST

Often societal concerns are reflected in artists’ works and become important voices that draw attention to the currency of our times in terms of social, cultural and political nuances. Bengaluru-based artist, Pragati Dalvi Jain’s ongoing solo exhibition, ‘Shapes of Unseen Voices’ presents her recent multidisciplinary body of works — paintings as well as conceptual works, along these lines. As a contemporary artist, Pragati finds herself straddling several roles and attempts to reconcile and represent these diverse anxieties and complexities, which emerge from her situation and standpoint, and as an active observer of people and shared environments around her. Discourses and norms around socio-economic and cultural archetypes fascinate her, and her conceptual works explore these subjects through performative photographs, sculptural and video installations, and performances.

The exhibition opened with a short performative piece titled ‘The Chase’ in collaboration with another guest artist, Jayshree Poddar, a senior textile designer. Both the performers ‘walked’ in opposite directions along an infinite loop, a symbol that was drawn on the ground. Each walked at their own pace, while an audio narration represented the contrasting approaches that both women have at their stages of life. One still chasing material objects and worldly desires and the other is at a more content stage, rejecting the consumerist culture.

In the exhibition, abstract paintings form a significant part of the work, primarily in black and white, and greys, an exploration of degrees of uncertainties and gradations of reality. As a mother, wife and daughter, much of Pragati’s life and its dualities are reflected in her art practice. The act of painting is, in a sense, a performative one for her. It is also where the agitation and tumultuousness which stems from working with intense conceptual pieces in her parallel projects, gets processed and quietens.

As an advocate for physical and mental health, Pragati has also worked on a project that draws attention to a lesser-known medical condition FOP (Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva), where with the progression of the disease muscles are converted into bones, causing physical immobility. ‘Stretching My Dreams’, is a series of photographs and videos that emerged from conversations with Indian patients and their caregivers, and expresses the impact of the disease on them. 

Apart from these, there is an installation made entirely of bricks with text, and a performance video enquiring into the reciprocity of love and expectations around it. A series of blurred photographs question notions of identity about socio-cultural barriers and conditioning.

Pragati’s art practice is deeply informed by motherhood, gender and identity, and it is evident that most of the artworks have autobiographical traces to them.

Disclosure: ‘Shapes of Unseen Voices’ has been curated by this author. The exhibition is on till March 6 at Gallery 7, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bengaluru.

Dab Hand is your art world low-down.

(The author is a Bengaluru-based art consultant, curator and writer. She blogs at Art Scene India and can be reached at artsceneinfo@gmail.com)

ADVERTISEMENT
(Published 03 March 2024, 01:32 IST)

Follow us on

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT