Clark House Initiative
Bombay
8 Nathalal Parekh Marg (Old Wodehouse Road)
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Visual Evidence
dal 13/3/2013 al 30/3/2013

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13/3/2013

Visual Evidence

Clark House Initiative, Bombay

The exhibition plays with the chronologies of mediums gaining popularity in India, as put forward by writers like Girish Shahane, from the hand-painted photograph to paintings inspired by photo-journalism, and anachronistically, later by the European Renaissance. Contemporary Karen Kraven presents a series of photographs and a sound installation.


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'Jinnah plotting Partition' is a decoupage comprising cut-out portraits based on photographs of Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on a Nathdwara watercolour background depicting a garden and a stately home in Rajput architectural style. Mother India forms a triad with them, while cut-outs of Mohammed Ali Jinnah and others are shrunk in scale and placed near the fountain, seeming to conspire against a united India. The map of undivided British India includes present-day Burma, Pakistan and Bangladesh and a Mother India emerges from a third eye, carrying the Indian Flag. The medium and the method used was popular during the 1940s in India and we attribute it to Nathdwara, where miniature painters would copy perspectives borrowed from Western academic painting, using photographic references for landscapes that would then be populated by decoupaged images of gods.

The exhibition from the Clark House curatorial archive gives credence to a trajectory of art historical scholarship, from Partha Mitter to Jyotindra Jain and Tapati Guha-Thakurta, who subtly interpreted the collapse of visual iconographies of nationalism, fundamentalism, and religious pantheons. The exhibition plays with the chronologies of mediums gaining popularity in India, as put forward by writers like Girish Shahane, from the hand-painted photograph to paintings inspired by photo-journalism, and anachronistically, later by the European Renaissance. The exhibition is also a careful look at a mixture of styles within works: where hunted deer, or fighter planes stylistically differ from the pastoral landscapes that surround them. Toying with calibrations of what has been previously debated, the exhibition adds new iconographies into the fray, from lesser known contemporaries of the better known studios.

Artists | Photo-studios:
Atul Dodiya (Bombay)
C. Kondiah Raju (Tamil Nadu)
Abul Kalam Azad (Fort Kochi - Thiruvanamalai)
N Pushpamala (Bangalore)
Justin Ponmany (Bombay)
Imran Channa (Lahore)
Maqbool Fida Hussain (Bombay)
Soghra Khurasani (Baroda)
Bashiruddin Khan (Midnapore)
Walid Raad (Beirut)
Ranjitsinh Gaekwad (Baroda)
Abdur Rahman Chughtai (Lahore)
Zied Ben Romdhane (Tunis)
Chto delat? (St. Petersburg)
AR Dutt (New Delhi)
Vasudeo H Pandya (Bombay)
Sachin Bonde (Bombay)
PS Ramachandra (Tamil Nadu)
Ghasi Ram Sharma (Nathdwara)
Adolphe Braun (Paris)
Cynthia Art Studio (Madurai)
Yogesh Barve (Bombay)
Prem Studio (Salem)
SS Brijbasi & Sons (Karachi)
Narottam Narain (Nathdwara)
Ravi Varma Press Picture Depot (Lonavala)
Bamapada Banerjee Roy Babajee & Co (Calcutta)
MD Trivedi (Bombay)
E Art & Photo Company (Delhi)
Chonker Art Studio (Bombay)
Mark Coombs (London)
Ranada Ukil (Calcutta)

Acknowledgements:
Ramesh, Athena Arts, Jew Town, Fort Kochi
Riyaz, Tribal Arts & Crafts, Kochi, fort Kochi
Arjuna Arts, Jew Town, Fort Kochi;
Sunny Malayil, Crafters, Jew Town, Fort Kochi

Curated by Sumesh Sharma and Zasha Colah

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Karen Kraven

'The Moons of Jupiter' is a series of photographs of fruit, arranged like the waxing and waning of Jupiter's moons. The title of this work with a mango is 'Thebe', the moon discovered by the Voyager shuttle in March 1979. The mango is a signifier of life, as well as a unit of export and economy. By using the mango to create a kind of calendar, the artist explores the relationship between fantasy, economy, and the famous paraphrase by Zizek at Occupy Wall Street in 2011 - 'It is easier to imagine the end of the world, than to imagine the end of capitalism'. 'Symphonies of the Planets' is a sound installation comprising three audio tracks from the Voyager shuttle recordings made in the seventies of the magnetospheres of the planets, turned into sound frequencies. The three audio tracks play simultaneously, creating a fantasy re-mix of the noise footprint that massive planets make as they orbit the sun.

Karen Kraven's project is graciously supported by a travel grant by the Canada Council for the Arts.


Opening Wednesday 13 March | 11am
Art Night Thursday 14 March | 11am-9.30pm

Clark House Bombay
c/o RBT Group, 8 Nathalal Parekh Marg (formerly Wodehouse Road) opposite Sahakari Bhandar and Regal Cinema, next to Woodside Inn Bombay
Daily 11am-7pm

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