Beyond materialism

Compelling One of the works at the show

Compelling One of the works at the show  

‘Material Texts’ delves into the relation between perception and expression

Material Texts’, a show curated by Bangalore-based Meena Vari and Aravind Lodaya at Kashi Art Gallery, Mattancherry lays emphasis on the essence of materials that find sense in diverse forms. Materials do not adhere to a single form of sensibility alone, rather moves indefinitely to create a logical (perhaps, at points quite illogical) interpretations. Objects and products derived of certain, specific materials move diligently toward higher planes of recognition: they do not conform nor do they confront, but takes upon a journey of boundary less travel that finds its own dimensions in space and time. Understandingly, modern contemporary art speaks of a language that does not thrust itself into conformities. Perhaps, that is what modern contemporary art is really all about. And when artists (and others) identify with the use of materials to create the emergence of diversity, art really thrives.

‘Material Texts’ bears witness to this. The show of 11 artists allows materials to magnify into spheres of unknown thought. It sheds the stereotypical connotations it holds, like a breakdown of pre-modern belief systems, to the real meaningfulness of these. Plastic does not remain plastic, nor does paint, thread nor clay. Nor does a washbasin nor table, even technology. The potential of each object is visibly amplified, so as the various materials each of the artists in show has exhibited.

Of profound mention is Justin Ponmany’s holographic work that carries a sense of spirituality.The material has little in terms of memory but beckons the viewer into the future, threading a familiar quest of individuals within the concept-of numerous shoes outside the room of his work: Where have these people gone?

Mili Tharagan, in her works ‘Promised Land II’ of metallic screws and fabric allows the materials to remain for what they are. And then transcends to provide a thought of the deep, a conflict borne by human need – a prisoner to emotions of passion, materialism, maybe even love. Cathy Lane in her work presents an installation of food – mother’s pickles - that is accentuated by the sound of its preparation, those quiet hums of ‘mum’. Not only does she ask if her material is the sound of its making, but in its littlest of spaces bears an emotion of the maker. Anant Joshi highlights the change in the economic market. His (general) use of toys as metaphors undertakes an almost ‘melted down’ liquid form, and Biju Jose finds diversification of the material into varied, significant meanings. All works of all artists allow a transition from the ‘now’ to the ‘other’.

T. A.

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