Art News & Views



Shunya: A Beginning from a Point of Neutrality

by Snehal Tambulwadikar

Mumbai. The artists group associated here is a combo of various schools from Baroda and Mumbai. The artists look at peace, in simple conversation, but their works reflect lot of chaos, synonymous to the contemporary. The exhibition clutters in a 'Clark House', not cleared of space, rather crammed with the furniture and antiques and now the art works along with artists. It thus becomes imperative to see beyond, and seep into the initiative rather than just the show.

Titled Shunya or the void, the write-up claims it to be the beginning from nether. The artists now working in new media, when asked why, have a simple answer that artist has become independent of regular media. Rather, appropriately, artists today are becoming public like never before, exploring every possibility outside studio/gallery spaces. This show thus finds the media like sofa resin, heena, to the cheapest media of directly projecting a cell phone. None the less, the coming together provides them the insight to many simple jargons faced, add-ons are the visiting artists, critics, curators et al. Prabhakar, who experiments with shadows, through his sculptural projections reminds Bellary, Koraput and Bastar of the devastation and promises of development. Rupali (MSU Baroda, printmaking) in her works often comments on suicides of farmers from the hinterland that surrounds her hometown Pune, a result of the hegemony that exists between politicians and moneylenders. Her practice is a philosophical take on the technical methods involving light and exposure common to both printmaking and cinema. Sachin is well conversant in Gormati, the language of the Banjara tribe. His works seek to reclaim traditional symbols and motifs that have been appropriated to represent specific ideologies of political parties, parties that hold no relevance, that have not erased the decades of neglect of his region. Poonam (Rachana Sansad in Bombay) manages survival in the city on the edge. Living in a friend's studio in Virar, her soft sculptures probably make humour of the silent domestic disorder she faces each day. Nikhil (J.J. School of Art, Mumbai) combines text and audience to question with his work reading Don't Try To Find Meaning In This, himself in a pool of meanings and queries. Amol's work refines the shedding of skins, that of the external and internal, both leaving impressions on either, as the fevicol-heena-skin jacket hangs while the body of artist adorns the traditional designs. Yogesh's work is more of a journey, speed he tries to capture, maybe even in stills, reflecting the kitsch in the minds every single moment. The artists are now excited for their upcomings, a show at a zoo in prague, another unlikely space.

As Sumesh says, "Shunya" means 'void', it is used to define a mathematical concept of nothingness, adopted by Arabs as Sifr, and later as Zephirum by the mathematician Fibonacci. The title explains a beginning from a point of neutrality. 'Shunya', here adds value after numbers.”

Clark House Initiative, Mumbai is a curatorial practice about a place, which in sharing a junction with two museums and a cinema, mirrors the fiction of what these spaces could be. Once an office of pharmaceutical research, an antiques store, and shipping office, curatorial interventions in the space hope to continue, differently, the history of internationalism, experiment and research, initiated by Sumesh Sharma and Zasha Colah.

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