The Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum is delighted to present the exhibition Sightseeing Trip. Eberhard Havekost in India in collaboration with the Dresden State Art Collections, one of Germany’s foremost museums. The initiative is a part of the celebrations for the Indo German friendship year. It is the first time that the artist’s work will be viewed in India.
Eberhard Havekost is one Germany’s most recognised artists and his works have been collected by many important international museums and collectors. Born in 1967, Havekost’s practice draws its material from the cacophony of urban imagery around us which will have a particular resonance for Mumbaikars. The paintings and digital prints capture the pared down essence of a 21st century globalised urban reality that characterises cities across the globe. They address issues of sensory deluge, consumption and waste, speed and mechanised lives, and the loss of the inner self in the urban frenzy.
The artist brings a rigorous scrutiny to his observations. Sometimes the images are tightly framed or sometimes they present expansive views. He uses an elaborate process to filter the images which are either found or photographed, morphing them in a computer to create nuanced reflections of the original. Havekost is concerned with perception and spatial reality and the many layers through which the truth is filtered both in our consciousness and in our ways of apprehending externalities. He plays with both the subjective and objective perception of reality.
Facades of buildings, surreal faces, body parts, film clips, photographs, advertising hoardings, urban detritus are filtered through car windows, the glass shutters of an abandoned building or glimpsed from a speeding train or distorted through airplane cockpits. These are revisioned by the artist using various computer programmes and then painted or digitally printed. Havekost’s work reinterprets painting in the wake of new forms of image manipulation and often the prints look more like paintings and his paintings take on the vocabulary of digital art. Both offer a key to the viewer or a “user interface” as the artist prefers to call it, which unlocks a layered and subtle world.
Tasneem Zakaria Mehta
Managing Trustee & Honorary Director, Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum