India Art Fair

Artist(s): Shumon Ahmed | Prajakta Potnis | Raqs Media Collective | Sarnath Banerjee | Neha Choksi | Sandeep Mukherjee | Mahesh Baliga

The Project 88 booth interlaces the outwardly contradictory notions of eternality and ephemerality through artworks that present images and ideas that are perceptible yet  uncanny. Viewers are compelled to consider what lies beyond the palpable, to contemplate the conceptual and subliminal.

Sarnath Banerjee’s Rostok from his Bicarbonates series features a nearly-identical pair of drawings that evoke a sense of stillness. The subtle differences between the two renderings that are depicted through minor variations direct attention to the minutiae of time. In a hyper-kinetic world, the work reveals the impossibility of arresting motion, even within an instantaneous moment.

Inspired by the Jataka Tales, Raqs Media Collective’s Unfamiliar Tales (IV) captures an ordinary moment in time for a solitary and seemingly futile being that attains enlightenment amidst the “limbo between appearance and essence.” The prospect of achieving transcendence within the mundane and routinely is highlighted.

Sandeep Mukherjee’s Gravity Flows celebrates a play between varying instances of matter - his own body, his surface (sheets of polymer), and his medium (paint), that flow at very different rates and frequencies. His diptych portrays the relentless dynamism conjured by this confluence of varying substances and processes, representing microcosmically, the vitality of our planet.

Neha Choksi’s Burst IV, Burst V, and Skin Burst deploy notions of absence and abeyance to activate her ideas of solitariness and expiry. The works reveal a fascination and acceptance of the inevitability of death. Through seemingly permanent material representations of deflated objects, the works suggest the transience of life.

Prajakta Potnis’s photographic Still Life series, and drawings entitled 4:54 and 6:02 present an eerie world where objects outlive their purposes, as consumable produce or as man-made equipment, settling into a permanent state of undoing and transformation.

Mahesh Baliga’s sculptural works, entitled Pain Relief and Fruit with Slim Belt bend time through uncanny and anachronistic portrayals of contemporary objects as terracotta artefacts that conjure antiquity. The use of clay as a medium challenges the function of the objects that Baliga portrays.  

Shumon Ahmed’s photograph, When Dead Ships Travel 3, features a pin-hole panorama depicting a defunct, obsolete ship in a ghostly manner, capturing a sense of visual melancholy. The work contemplates the impermanent nature of life through the disintegration of a colossal, non-living body.


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