I am a multidisciplinary artist from Bangalore, studied in MS University. Currently practicing in Bangalore, Karnaraka. My work has developed in number of ways over the years yet from the very beginning of my art practice, I have workded in Painting, Printmaking, Installation, Video Art and Live/ Performance art. My intention is to blend these mediums into an interdisciplinary language.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Katharsis in a forbidden zone - An exhibition at Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore

The works in the exhibition at Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore, India represent, epitomise and evoke various alchemical substances to suggest a precise examination of their properties, the laboratory paraphernalia alluding to different stages of purification and transformation, while a host of more or less ordinary objects link the findings of the quasi-science and modern scholarship with the character of our reality, human imperfections or impurities as well as hope and ideals. The large canvases deal with the basic classical metals of alchemy in a manner that binds them with and lets them disclose rudimentary qualities of the human disposition. The artist begins from a position of neutral objectivity and in the centre of the paintings places a researcher’s table whose frontal position in vanishing point perspective seems to display it clearly to the viewer. The table covered by white cloth introduces the sense of an old-fashioned study but with a tinge of domestic interior. The vessels for chemical experiments and a profusion of other objects demonstrate their nature and connections at various planes. 

With the help of the titles one can grasp some of the content, whereas, indeed, like in the obscure science of alchemy, the specific, often complex relationships between motifs necessitate detailed elucidation. On longer scrutiny, the objects arranged so as to indicate their condition begin to stir responding to one another. As one recalls the words denoting energy, flow and spirit that recur in Dimple’s drawings, the items on the table top which usually include devices that heat substances contained in glass retorts appear to enact self-presentation and transformation, like performers explaining themselves to the attentive audience. The sense of a nearly theatrical scene is enhanced by the large format of the paintings that invite an immediate, static focus from the spectator.

The installation is a shower cubicle broad enough to accommodate a single person, modern and rudimentary of character but reverberating of scared bath rituals. The steel shower head, pipes and basin may be ordinary, their glimmering smoothness yet exuding a minimalist aesthetic finesse. The four external walls studded with hundreds and hundreds of tiny glass bottles with hair and nail shavings, with ash and salt conjure an impact that is raw, fragile and perishable as well as enchantingly ephemeral when the translucent sheets fill with immaterial radiance against light. The substances in the phials represent the physical frame, the medical allusiveness of the samples in their containers suggesting illness but also a possibility of cure. The empty space surrounded by curtains inscribed with the enigmas of alchemy, between the shower and the basin strewn with grain salt is intended to hold and cleanse the invisible spirit, the body and the soul never to be considered alien. The sensitivity and the senses of the person entering the cubicle become engaged on multiple levels, the sight heightened and completed by the smell and the sound of water along with alchemical process hymns.

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