Published on August 26, 2015 on Vogue India
It’s difficult not to be magnetically drawn towards Baptist Coelho’s sculptural piece, The Rose I, a stunning work that from afar looks almost like an elaborate bridal veil with its net-like drapes cascading against the enormous bouquet of white roses. Arrive a foot away and you suddenly see the fabric is gauze, not net. Yes, gauze, that’s otherwise used to bandage wounds, generally facilitate the process of healing. The rest of the show similarly plays with material disguise, using objects that Coelho has deliberately displaced from their original settings and endowed with different contexts. The entirety of the human figure is subtracted from all equations, and his five-channel audio work exemplifies the potency of the missing body most prominently through the gestural form of five military sleeping bags with absentee bodies and the intimate soundscape of four soldiers and an officer who appear to be communicating with each other through a dream. Between Here and There is an excellent introduction to Coelho’s artistic engagement with war and its aftermath, which is rarely ever peace.