palpable effort in creating quartz mouse but yielding no progress
in the direction of humanism. And yet the clear, cut, single, stylized figure in the left panel of Resplendence, 1990, of a pregnant woman holding a rock is not a nihilistic recluse, but a symbol of life and the natural world. And yet even as the desire to find a new way of thinking and being able to conceive about the world as a whole seems to be waning, and with it the impulse to act as a person, a body, a spirit, and the human being—to become incarnate, to be the one and only human being in the universe. To me, its an interesting question: To what extent can we make our existential condition or even our desires manifest, and to what extent can we accept the possibility that something that we think of as impossible may actually be happening, perhaps even in our own lives? Certainly the desire to do so, and to do so with the full recognition that it is impossible.Yet I think that it is in fact the opposite: The desire to make manifest, to make visible, is getting out of hand, and now reaches a dead end. There is a danger that it will become as absurd as the polemical absurdity of contemporary art, which is to say, as a form of flogging the old cause. And in fact the extreme difficulty in doing this is itself a sign of the extreme difficulty of reaching an adequate ideological position. For this is the paradox of the artist, who must come up with a new set of ideas and an adequate theoretical position to make them manifest. And one finds oneself, in a sense, working with a knowledge of this. The artistic expression of a mature, self-reflexive, sensual, and creative consciousness is a difficult task, but one that is the result of a young artist, the artist himself, trying to give the necessary political voice to his own desire.
. The latter works best in a more empty space, like an apartment.In the end, Doles work is the most exciting. The possibilities are vast; one could find, for instance, the outlines of the dancers foot in space, like the rippling surface of a tide, or the outline of the hemisphere of Venus in a photogram. The physical forms of these little pieces are so tiny and they are so close to the grain of the paper that they seem to be as much lost as the drawings on the wall. They are all the more striking for the presence of the penciled lines that mark them with a precision that is, in a sense, accidental—an effect that lends their presence something of the aura of a waxwork. And, finally, the seemingly arbitrary way in which the papers were pinned and twisted into an arabesque, the subtle manipulation of the papers surface, makes one wonder how they were made.
palpable effort in creating quartz mouse but yielding no progress toward the final, finished object.The exhibition, which consisted of artifacts from a group of objects that have been abandoned in the hills of Aligarh, had been organized by the artist Dhananjay Kanwar, who is based in Mumbai. The artist brought together objects ranging from a wooden apple to a skull to a plaster cast of a shaligar, a shrilly patterned cloth, and a baby dhoti. In the absence of the artists signature, the paintings in this show are largely from the artists collection. But this absence was neither a limitation nor a mistake. The artists attempt to distance the show from the artist, to confine it to the canvas, was futile and had the effect of further eroding the image of Indias art. While a watchful eye over the future of art in India was clearly in order, the failure to ensure that the art on display was, in fact, Indian was also evident. In the absence of the artist, the place of the work, both on the gallery walls and in the individual works, was almost entirely vacant. But this was not to suggest that the absence was accidental. The absence of the artist was also the reflection of the countrys place in the world, the fact that it remains, for the most part, isolated from the global art market.The lack of an artist in this show was a reminder that the legacy of Indias art is tied to a history of resistance to the legacy of colonialism. Despite the recent resurgence of artistic engagement with the postcolonial situation, the country still retains an aura of backwardness. One of the major issues of Indian art today is the question of the relation between past and present, present and future.
in the direction of his own past work. Backs and shoulders are the only concession made in this respect. The depth of the work is all but obscured by the jagged edges of the pieces, which feel like labial impasto. This is not to say that these edges are entirely arbitrary. Rather, as in a Norman Rockwell painting, they suggest a gesture that must have been done with great care, since they are at once geometric and biological. The geometry is more than just a projection of angular proportions, and the figures are less extensions of our own bodies than both abstract and tangible ensembles of identical parts.The sculpture consists of a wall-mounted balsa wood with six flat steel rods, six wedged together at their widest points to form a figure seven and a half feet long. They are, respectively, four and a half feet high, two and a half wide, and each is shaped to suggest a head. In keeping with the balsa-wood base, each rod is cut so that the two pieces are staggered and a figure six and a half feet tall. When combined with the body of the balsa wood, the result is a kind of conglomeration of two-dimensional figures. In the end, the head is supported by the very best of bone, but the rest of the body is left bare. The effect is a little like the comic-book silhouette of a house—a one-dimensional, almost comic-book figure.The sculpture looks so fragile, like it could fall apart at any moment. It is an organic, unnatural, imperfect mass of material, and it is difficult to stand on or stand in without feeling that the construction has been betrayed. The question is whether the sculpture is a victory or a defeat. The sculptural background suggests the contrary, and the heads are a serious loss. The pieces are delicate, fragile, and vulnerable, and they are made of the very best wood.
toward a more exotic idea. There was also a man-made rain forest, a table of sand, and a wall full of papers, photocopies, and photographs of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. To describe this show as a study of the unconscious would be to miss the point, though, for there was also something entirely personal about it—a kind of magic show. And, for the most part, the show was a kind of fantasy. The imagination is a great ally of the unconscious. Thats why we turn to the unconscious for inspiration and wisdom. The magic of the unconscious can be seen in all its complexity in our dreams, in all the voices that have whispered in our heads and in our hearts, in all the ways that the unconscious has been constructed by us. It is an art of enchantment, and one that resonates in the long night.