There are many worlds in our one planet. The political, the religious, the economic, and the social: all these spheres seem to collide, contradict, conflict, converge and combine with each other. It is a process that can be traced from ancient history to the globalized present. In Rashid Rana’s work these worlds, with their distinct views, come close to forming another parallel entity, one that is both rooted and yet exists independently from the artist’s surroundings. This might be understood in terms of the physical, the psychological or the virtual. Multiple visuals derived from diverse sources, in mosaic-like settings, present complex views that, if decoded, relate to our scattered, shattered world.
In Rana’s body of work art history, contemporary art, visual urban culture and mundane things are made to contribute in the creation of an alternate reality that unfolds formal as well as conceptual concerns, always joined in seamless schema. The flatness of the pictorial plane and ideas of three-dimensionality are explored in Rana’s works through both static visuals and, also, time-based works. Likewise the distance between an object and its representation is reduced in his photo sculptures, wherein the image corresponds to actual form.
Concepts such as originality, ethnicity and authenticity are explored, exposed, sometimes even exploded, through these works: they rely upon the language of our times, existing like photographs of our imagination and videos of our dreams.
Quddus Mirza 2012