Artists from 13 different countries display their notions of the present moment at “Moment as Monument” exhibition at Travancore Palace in Delhi.
Thirteen artists from different countries have articulated contemporary issues in their works at an ongoing exhibition at Travancore Palace on Kasturba Gandhi Marg here.
Titled “Moment as Monument,” the exhibition is showcasing paintings, video installations, drawings, photography and films of artists from Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Iran, Pakistan and the United States. Many of the artists belong to the South Asian diasporas.
German curator Thomas Erben says that he chose to exhibit the works at Travancore Palace because of its rich history. “This palace belonged to the State of Travancore during the British Raj. It is a remnant of that bygone era and is an architecture wonder. As the palace is brimming with energy and history of the Raj, I chose contemporary artists who are all in their 30s to use the prevailing conditions in their countries as a springboard to reflect ideological, social, psychological, aesthetic and philosophical aspects of our lives.”
Thomas deliberately refrained from having a fixed theme for the exhibition because he feels that it creates a barrier for artists. “I wanted them to fully use their artistic impressions on the canvas or whichever medium they chose.”
The result is that the exhibition comes across as a rich confluence of ideas and modes of expressions on a variety of mediums..
Pakistan’s Mahbub Shah’s seemingly unorganised arrangements of dots -- cropped from colourful magazine advertisements -- create a scintillating universe in which shifting patterns and structures emerge. Similarly visually fragmented, Korean artist Haeri Yoo’s systematically suspends in her paintings stories of disrupted feminist and cultural narratives.
“Vacancy,” an experimental film by German filmmaker Matthias Muller, explores the city of Brasilia. It exudes a strangely obsessive feeling of time and space, documenting the vast and failed modernist utopian monument.
The concept of “moment” implies sequentially, before and after. The criterion of isolating one moment from another is marked by intensity -- of a political nature, for example, in Rit Premnath’s “Surrender,” a photograph of Somali pirates buzzed by a U.S. Navy helicopter. Cropped and re-framed as a triptych, the singularity of the scene assumes the quality of a cinematic event.
In his interactive video-installation, Indian artist Kiran Subbaiah heightens our awareness of the moment by duplication and temporal displacement.
The exhibition is on till August 25.