Thursday, 4 February 2016

The Rituals of Memory-Personal folklores & other tales

The exhibition The Rituals of Memory : Personal folklore & other tales that opens at Aicon Gallery in New York has a selection of work from the last nine years  which deals with my interest in creating personal mythologies as the stage for larger narratives to be explored.

The best part of a show is the day the works get displayed. The shift from having lived with the works in my studio during their making to their existence in the white cube space brings a critical distance to my relationship with them.

I usually spend time seated in the gallery as the gallery team works to mount the show in the space. Surrounded by the  energies that are invested to present the exhibition I am able to view my work away from the emotional space of ownership and this process of detachment is one that allows me a discourse of value with the work.

I had an interesting conversation over lunch with Prajit Dutta the director of Aicon Gallery where we spoke about how geographical boundaries should no longer trap art into being ghettoised; and where contextualised meanings should be open to interpretations by the experiences that individuals bring to their understanding of what they view.

Cultural differences will always exist and art and other creative practises will be born from the womb of where it is fed and nurtured in its inception. However where the final product is then placed to be viewed does not depend on whether these cultural factors are known to an audience. What becomes important is that the curiosities of people are awakened which will then lead to meanings and comprehension  to be established.

It will be interesting at the opening tomorrow because I will be having a formal conversation about my work with Danial Herwitz, a philosopher and an old friend who I haven't met up with in many years. He is the son of  Chester & Davida Herwitz who were collectors of Contemporary Indian art. This exhibition also has a selection of works from the Herwitz collection that was purchased by Aicon gallery.

As the texts go up on the walls and the paintings sit well arranged in their designated places, I have slowly become a viewer of sorts within the space. In a few days I will be back in Baroda working on a new set of works. I don't know when I will sit surrounded by these works again, especially placed as they are in this configuration. They will exist away from me - separated and independent of me. 

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