Meeting of a few fellow artists in a makeshift tea shop on Southern Avenue while they discussed the pyramid qualities of cultural practices more than a decade back urged them to form the group “Opem Window” in 1997. From the derelict tea shop to friends’ studios and then to their first Group Show later; on what was the distinction based amongst those practitioners that gave birth to a controlled Empiricism. A question of knowing after seeing, discourse; experience integrated at the level of perception, memory, practice, repetition; this at the level of this works that overflow here at this site.
This annual show of a premier group provides an insight into the condition of contemporary art in India and the opportunity for many questions regarding the idea of “identity” and to what extent we stretch ourselves? Frustrating full perception, the art language shifts from spectacle to presence, a psychological space where there is absence in spite of presence; and that presence is the sole key to a state in which ratiocination of any kind is suspended- the inadequacy of the faculties is accepted and the viewer advances humbly towards faith. Here concrete objects become tokens of a concealed desired principle.
The works in this exhibition of 14 artists of this premier group posit a sign well beyond the historical enterprise of the horizon- we keep in mind that this is not a strategic coalition of practicing artists here as they recite to us the entire dramatic scale of their passions and appetites. In these entire works, one can see eroticism and joyfulness as means of revolt, not an exercise of power but a tumultuous upheaval of limitation which may be called ‘sovereignty’. No wonder gifted with a sense of emotivity, transcendental emotivity, so grand and precious that makes our soul tremble before the pulsating drama of their work; which construct oppositional political identities too. For themselves it is based on a generalization and provisional unity, but the analysis of the group “Open Window” cannot be based on universalistic, ahistorical category- painters on the outermost images of mimetic sleep that explode pictorial plane in an illusionist assault on three-dimensional reality where modernity’s high idioms are kept at bay, ideas are given a free reign with visions. Here, wondrous shifts between intellectual processes and explicitly physical activities reunite the life of the mind with its bodily ground: high art’s most exclusive realm returns its pleasures to the enlivened physiques of its participants.