Aicon Gallery is proud to present Fact ● Fission, a group exhibition curated by Nitin Mukul featuring fourteen contemporary artists, working in various media to challenge preconceived ideological divisions and break down the prevailing regional aesthetics in global contemporary art.
Daily unrest in the name of democracy seems endemic to some nations, whereas in others, complacency breeds blissful collapse. Volatile shifts in the balance of power appear inevitable, with over-consumption taking a tangible toll. The media's reductive narratives and sweeping generalizations over large swathes of the globe are no longer plausible as Fact. New patterns emanate, emerging at a pace more rapid than ever in regard to technology, nature, policy and social upheaval. Cultural practitioners yearn to reflect this multiplicity of voices. Enter Fission. Fusion, a term often used to describe the melding of different cultures, seems overused and worn out. A mainstream marketing gimmick, somewhat analogous to assimilation or multiculturalism, fusion advocates tolerance of the ‘Other’, albeit according to its own convenience and within the bounds of what it deems tasteful. What's more interesting is fission – when things split apart, reorganize and regenerate, smudging and splintering neatly kept categories and conventional wisdom in the process. The results are not necessarily hybrids, but new inauthentic, hyper-local and interdisciplinary manifestations resulting from willful or imposed dislocation. The work in this exhibition will center on the concept of fission, while encompassing a wide range of formal concerns.
Yamini Nayar’s imagined interiors explore architecture and memory via the representation of constructed (and deconstructed) space. Drawing from the visual allegories of architecture, with the model and final photograph weaving together existing narratives with elements of fragmented idealism, Nayar’s collaged photographs become jarring snapshots of ephemeral architectural memories as experienced by our subjective subconscious. Pooneh Maghazehe interrogates the functional and obstructed uses of worn domestic furniture by methodically peeling and stripping textiles, to reveal the underlying structural vulnerability from within. The recontextualized pieces investigate the collective identity, social psychology, and symbolic gestures and emblems that define belief structures by exposing the interdependence of materials inherent in these prefabricated former objects of comfort. James Cullinane explores the diagrammatic possibilities and didactic imagery of patterns in process, navigating the tension between pictorial and physical space. His paintings act as architectural dictionaries and charts to navigate the labyrinthine paths forged in his layered dystopia of geometric forms, optic patterns and vibrant color. In Kanishka Raja’s panoramic realms, the energetic fusion of private and public domains of distinct global settings, interlocked by pulsating patterns derived from textile design and ornamentation, form a complex visual field spanning several panels. Nitin Mukul depicts details of events as various types of social rituals/commentary, deconstructing and imbuing them with palpable energy and ambiguity.
The opening reception will feature a screening of the new video Haal by Nitin Mukul, with a live score by Jace Clayton (DJ Rupture) and software designer Bill Bowen, utilizing their recently developed SUFI PLUG-INS, an interdisciplinary project dedicated to exploring non-western and poetic notions of sound, creating a space where software design, music tools, encoded spirituality, digital art and indigenous knowledge systems overlap.