Mañana en Bombay

Mañana en Bombay

Tejal Shah, Lethargy, 2007-08, archival digital photograph, 139x180cm

Please join us for the preview on Friday, September 26, 2008, 7-9 pm

Anxious as the visual arts equivalent of playwright Peter Handke¹s Offending the Audience (1966) may seem a tad hyperbolic, but rest assured it is anything but. With this exhibition one intends to mobilise Fluxus-like shenanigans, and by extension undercut the pristine and ritualised viewing process.

In the exhibition, the curator undergoes a makeover and transforms into the eponymous arbiter from the game Simon Says. In this newly comprehended role as Simon, the curator contrives the viewers¹ discomfort by compelling them to scrunch their eyebrows, scratch their heads, re-adjust their stance and the like. Anxious endeavours to challenge and offend the audience by bringing them face to face with a project that may just as well have transpired while Simon was sleeping. Be that as it may, certain queries are raised, albeit inadvertently. 2 drawings + 4 photographs + 11 paintings = 10 artists. This be the equation. Paintings, photographs and drawings are the chosen ones because their two-dimensionality has a default distance setting, which drops out of favour when read in relation to sculpture and installation.
Recently, Simon had enunciated the idea of post-visuality. The concept was predicated on the proposal that fatigue has drained the visual.
With late-capitalism essaying the spoilsport for the most parts, the connect between the visual stimuli and its receiver has eroded and each image is received, if at all, as a dormant creature (1). The prospering visual arts economy has encumbered the image by making it severely complacent. Emboldened by wealth, seduced by reckless attention and embroiled in the ideological excess of the global image economy, the object has witnessed a depletion of its anxiety reserves and a centre staging of its newfangled hubris.

It would be near impossible to curtail these image crises and their impetuous spiralling out of control. But in adopting a two-pronged strategy of obstruction and castigation, Anxious attempts to occasion an intervention. The excessively haphazard display strategy clearly intends to impede the viewing process. The absence of identificatory scaffoldings such as name, title, and date markers and even the remotest ekphrasis ­ also adds a new leg to the obstacle race. In the exhibition, the works are purposefully presented in a hollow way and their intertextuality is never delivered on a platter as an easily sort-outable schema.

Gitanjali Dang
Bombay, September 2008

Notes:1 Gitanjali Dang, postvisual world (Catalogue essay, 2008)
Gitanjali Dang is an independent curator and critic. From 2005-08 she was art critic at the Hindustan Times, and currently contributes to publications such as Art India, The Economic Times and Mid-Day.

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