A group show ‘Urgent Conversations’

A new group show ‘Urgent Conversations’ concerns itself with voices, in dialogues or soliloquy, at times raised in strident urgency and at other moments whispered quietly to oneself. A curatorial note explains: “Lost illusions, concerns about global violence, marginalization, political and social dilemmas, conservation, alienation are some of the urgent issues that vex the conscience of those who still have the capacity to feel and it is through installations, photography and paintings.”

The artists participating in the show at Art Alive Gallery, New Delhi, are Manu Parekh, Valsan Koorma Kolleri, Jagannath Panda, Riyas Komu and Golak Khandual. It is through their creations that the above-mentioned concerns find visual expression. And like a leitmotif are images from Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s films, Uttara and Bagh Abrader, that seem to touch a chord somewhere deep within.

The visual imagery of Jagannath Panda is deceptively simple: it comprises of linear drawing & a rendered form or two, which seem to float on the surface. His drawings are very realistic, yet he does not offer the viewer a reference to the subject’s existence, or rather he does not recreate a sense of panorama in his paintings.

His style of painting is well suited to his concerns, which are with his immediate surrounding, Orissa, the state he hails from. He is sensitive to the issues raised by urbanization and politics. In Jagannath Panda’s instance it is a lyrical interpretation that finds expression in his video installation. In his watercolors, he employs woven material to compose representational landscapes in the minutest detail.

Riyas Komu is keen on sort of "ringing alarm bells" about the explosive urban situation through his art. The artist takes certain seminal images from the film Uttara and uses it to make an emphatic comment on modern times. The cinema of Buddhadeb Dasgupta, sometimes a biting satire at other times a deeply compassionate/ humane reflection of man caught in the midst of the most extraordinary circumstances and this finds an echo thus in the art of participating artists who’ve actually watched his films for the first time.

An accompanying note states: “The artist’s interpretation of the film reiterates his own convictions about the freedom of the underprivileged sections of the society. His use of certain sequences from the film in his painting/installation deftly melded with his own images make for a stunning visual impact.”

Valsan Koorma Kolleri has an affiliation with working processes which marginalizes any message that stands apart from the act of putting a piece together. As he asserts, concept apart, the placement of the object or the angle of inclination which it finally assumes is in fact the sculpture, the instant of intervention creating a value hitherto non - existent. His drawings/ watercolors engage in historical and social issues.

We have in Golak Khandual, a raconteur/ traveler, an architect by profession, who is an activist passionately espousing the cause of environment and conservation. He has focused on the actual journey of the Bagh Bahadur players, capturing their fascinating transition from ordinary mortals to fierce tigers through his camera, echoing a moment from Bagh Bahadur.

Finally, we have Manu Parekh’s works that revolve around memory and transient times, exploding often in bursts of impassioned colors. Polemics have always intrigued Manu Parekh - the energy of the organic form and the inherent sexuality within the forms are intangible elements in his works. His paintings provoke viewers to take notice of the world around them through the emotion, pain and anguish expressed in the subjects of his paintings.

Each artist has an individual point of view that is unique. ‘Urgent Conversations’ brings to you their voices, reflecting their social concerns.

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