20th century French philosopher Jean Baudrillard provides the inspiration
for an upcoming show at the Stainless Gallery, New Delhi from 23rd to 30th November.
Baudrillard postulated that reality and meaning in their authentic or
original forms no longer exist in modern society; they have been replaced
by symbols and signs. He called these simulacra: “The simulacrum is never
that which conceals the truth – it is the truth which conceals that there
is none.” This (dis)appearance of reality informs the curatorial concept
for the new show, which seeks to investigate the relationship of art with
reality in the age of simulacra.
“Notes on the (Dis)appearance of The Real”, features works
by eleven Indian artists, each of whom responds to the curators’
exploration of how image has mutated from a representation of reality to a
reality in and by itself.
Says Vari: “We adored Baudrillard’s ideas as students and scholars of art,
but never felt that what he wrote about would apply to our own context in
our lifetime. When I revisited his text for a course that I was teaching,
I was shocked to discover how simulacra had crept up in our midst as well.
Many of our young people believe that is how reality really is.”
Lodaya adds: “It seems a cliché – probably is, as well – but our sense of
reality is almost entirely drawn from a closed referential system of signs
and images; we have few options where we can still sense it and make sense
of it. Our tinted-glass windows are always pulled up, and our LCD screens
are always pulled down. It would be tempting to flip Baudrillard and claim
that reality has replaced image as a kind of fictional universe.”
Anahita Taneja and Shefali Somani, Directors of Shrine Empire Gallery say :"Reality is how a person perceives it to be either on the surface of it or beneath in its various layers. The nature of reality itself is the subject of eternal debate, and all artists have responded to and contributed to this debate in their own ways. With this show Shrine Empire moves into their 3rd year of collaboration”
Bangalore-based experimental artist Yashas Shetty’s installation comprises
his own Bio-Art studio – the site where he opens up the deconstruction and
reconstruction of reality to his audience, often in the form of workshops.
Prajjwal Choudhury looks at the phenomenon of sounds and noise, and how
that conceals different truths as it were.
Abhishek Hazra irreverently juxtaposes the apparatus of neutrino detection
against the ubiquitous ‘bug zapper’ as a diorama, and poses questions on
scientific method and its representation for public consumption.
Continuing her questioning of the very phenomenon of art, Hemali Bhuta’s
work reveals the process of degeneration and decay that underlies
seemingly flawless, timeless and pristine facades.
Shreyas Karle, known for his absurdist wit and sharp social commentary,
looks at mythologies of the unknown in history and their personification,
and compares it with prospecting and exploration of the kind epitomized by
California’s Gold Rush in the late 19th century.
Priti Vadakkath creates a theatre around the Beslan massacre of
schoolchildren and their images, inverting the dynamic where the audience
finds itself in the spotlight and the 300-plus dead watching us.
Delhi-based Susanta Mondal’s video installation documents various people’s
responses to his placing an ambiguously-shaped sack inside a cage that
occasionally shows signs of motion.