Birendra Pani’s present exhibition “Re-Vision” is a continuation of his engagement with theonce popular and now endangered traditional dance form called Gotipua and the past culturaltradition of Odisha in a broader sense.
Gotipua dance form which is performed by boys in the guise of girls, has its own language,rhetoric and symbols and a living experience through the fabric of social life. Odisha has arich legacy of diverse visual culture and sensibility with a vast history of stone carving andmonumental feeling which have been neglected and abandoned now.
The present series of work is the refraction of the fantasy of a nostalgic past, a landscapeof memory with change in space and time. Cultural memory of past events and of originalnarratives become enmeshed in the reconstructions of the past, relating it with knowledgeto a contemporary situation by criticism, appropriation, preservation and transformation. Theexhibition is an invocation towards the phenomenology of a new vision of re-visiting andredefining the inter-relationships between cultural memory, identity and history in a situationof loss of and reinvention of “self ” in a globalize yet localized world.
Remembering Stewart Hall’s assertion that culture and identity are irrevocably intertwinedthrough memory, the intention of the artist is the creation of a personal iconography bynegotiating with the contingent spheres of influences in the global-local conundrum and thecultural negligence of Odishan art, by engaging with tradition in an innovative way.
Rajashree BiswalArt HistorianNew Delhi
Birendra Pani :Born in 1969, Bhadrak, Odisha,India.1997-99 :MFA - Faculty of Fine arts M.S. University Baroda.1991-97 :BFA - Kala Bhavan. Viswabharati University, Shantiniketan.Participated in solo and group shows in India and abroad and is the recipient of numerous awards andthe 1991-95 Viswabharati University Merit Scholarship, Shantiniketan.Birendra Pani lives and works in New Delhi.