Landscapes on a cleaver: Art meets violence in an ongoing exhibition
Show featuring artists from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh explores what it’s like to try and create beauty amid the violent feedback loop of external events.mumbai Updated: Oct 27, 2017 19:04 IST
- Where: Chatterjee & Lal, Kamal Mansion, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba
- When: October 26 to November 1, 11 am to 6 pm (Sundays closed)
- Call: 2202-3787
- Entry is free
The exhibition Guns & Roses is best explained through Dhaka-based artist Promotesh Das Pulak’s installation, Encapsulated 4.
A metal helmet and a gas mask are covered in delicate shola flowers, usually used for weddings, juxtaposing the organic with the militaristic, “suggesting a betrayal of innocence and beauty that the artist finds in the current social and political state of his home country Bangladesh,” says Andrew Shea.
Shea has co-curated the exhibition, which is being staged jointly by the New York-based gallery Aicon and Mumbai’s Chatterjee & Lal.
The title, he says, is a reference to the delicate interplay and shifting borderlands between cruelty and beauty, violence and celebration, chaos and order in a world of growing social fragmentation and political instability.
This exhibition seeks to explore how it is possible in today’s world for artists, particularly those practicing in regions of instability, to strike a balance between art and the violent feedback loop of external events in which they now find themselves.
Artists from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are participating, including Jagannath Panda, Saks Afridi, Anila Agha, Adeela Suleman, Abdullah Syed and Salman Toor.
Karachi-based Suleman has painted onto a set of sharpened meat cleavers a series of pristine landscapes representing the natural beauty of northern Pakistan.
“The heft, menace and purpose of these objects belies the ominous underpinnings of the beautiful landscapes of mountains, lakes, and sky painted upon them, in the sense that these majestic areas often play host to some of the most shocking violence in the whole of South Asia,” says Andrew.
Also on display are works by Brooklyn-based Pakistani artist Salman Toor, who pains chaotic, surreal and sometimes grotesque human figures to reflect how our individual cultural baggage can all too easily spill over into attitudes of intolerance and violence at the collective level if not successfully mediated, Shea says.