Variable Operatives

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© Courtesy of The Guild Art Gallery
Variable Operatives

28, 3rd Pasta Lane
Shahid Bhagat Singh Road
400 005 Mumbai
January 17th, 2012 - February 29th, 2012
Opening: January 17th, 2012 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

+ 91 22 2288 0195
Open Monday - Saturday 11.00 am - 6.00 pm


The Guild is delighted to present Variable Operatives, an exhibition of works by Baiju Parthan and  Prayas Abhinav previewing on Tuesday 17, 2012


“Vector posits virtual reality as the escalation of the real, augmented and exponentially raised to the nth power, as the antinomic twin gradually and stealthily devouring its sibling.

Reality essentially is an epiphenomenon by virtue of it being an interpretation of sensory data filtered through cultural and gender bias, and virtual reality emerges as effervescence, an adjunct that is briskly modifying the texture of reality.

As French theorist Paul Virilio points out “The invention of the ship is also the invention of the shipwreck."

The art works in this show are located at the interstice of the objective real and the ethereal virtual. These are collision points aimed at presenting the erosion of implicit 'faith in perception' that is the foundation upon which solidity and predictability that we associate with the objective real are built upon.” - Baiju Parthan.

This & this

“Characters in the global pipelines of information-flow are not simple-minded anymore. Multi-faced, holographic personas are now the model. The poetry of this game of smoke and mirrors is performed with a zest shared on all the sides of the fence: the agents and the actors. A few decades back the front-lines of this dance-charade-war had occupied also the world of bits from the world of atoms. The fractal nature of bits co-exists with its plastic shadow. Viewports often cue back to the middle of the disarray randomly with disruption in either dimension. Courtship is now a cinematic experience, a kind of biding time for another. These times are like any other and also with our capacity to dream things which we cannot understand, tangents of progression can go anywhere. Generative with a history. Perception of patterns and complexities demands history, memory and a computation. This processing is a learnt characteristic for our epoch and species. The instruction line is the instant, the moment where dimensions get compiled into our experience. This is where resistance is; that which resists compilation floats around as an orphan fragment. And these fragments populate the buffer of our psyche with apparitions. What I see is different from what you see.

To unravel the onionskins of these apparitions is where the decay starts. That is when the static sets in. Climbing onto the moving horse, boarding the spinning carousel and getting off at a moment’s distraction... is the rhythm of our waking. A percussionist attempting to read this rhythm into a beat will be constantly listening and calibrating. Meanings are placeholders for eventual substitution. Cognition is meta.”-

Prayas Abhinav.

There are many ways of deciphering the present experience. And some ways of not having to. Of letting layers of unprocessed information build up and explode into some dimension of lucidity. There are two approaches for dealing with perceptual drift in this exhibition. Questions not easily answered, and questions not asked often enough as they inspire the delirium of division by zero. An impossibility. 

Perception is trained by illusions. Agreements, negotiations, deals happen between faculties to establish the most basic ways of looking at the world. When this deal-making is challenged in the most radical ways, we experience things that we cherish. In this game, playing by the rules is not playing at all. Not that there are any rules to speak of, really. Every time the smoke clears and the dust settles there is a re-calibration happening. 

We are talking of scales which do not have any markings. Scales which are not imposed but are discovered to be existing. The discovery of each such scale is either becoming a part of a weave we call truth or adding to the violence and disarray of our confusion. That is the pendulum we must swing on. 


Baiju Parthan

Baiju Parthan has an eclectic academic background. Along with degrees in Painting, Botany, Philosophy, and a Post-grad diploma in Comparative mythology, he has done studies in computer game level design at the Pratt Institute Manhattan USA. Some of his selected group shows include ‘India’, curated by Pieter Tjabbes and Tereza de Arruda, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil;  'Constructed Realities', curated by Gayatri Sinha at The Guild, Mumbai, 2010; 'Go See India', part of India-Sweden Cultural Exchange Program; presented by Emami Chisel, Kolkata at Aakriti Art Gallery, Kolkatta, Vasa Konsthal and Gallery-Scandinavia,Gothenburg; 'The Intuitive: Logic Revisted', from the Osians Collection at The World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland; 'Looking Glass: The Existence of Difference', Twenty Indian Contemporary Artists presented by Religare Arts Initiative, New Delhi in collaboration with American Centre, British Council, Goethe-Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi; 'The 11th Hour: An Exhibition of Contemporary Art from India / Diaspora', Tang Contemporary, Beijing. Parthan’s recent new media installations include Arpeggio for Abbe Faria,- Photography Installation, Benedictine Museum, Fecamp, France; ‘Liquid memory’ new media Installation- Galerie Christian Hosp, Nassereith, Austria.His recent solo shows are 'Dislocation: Milljunction Part 2', Aicon Gallery, London; 'Milljunction: Paintings and Photo-Works by Baiju Parthan', Aicon Gallery, New York; Liquid memory + Rant - Inter-media show Vadehra Gallery New Delhi.

Prayas Abhinav

Artist, Faculty at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Center for Experimental Media Arts (CEMA).Prayas finished his Advanced Diploma in Experimental Media Arts from CEMA, Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore. Some of his selected group shows include ‘ Public Policy – dislocate 11’, curated by Emma Ota ,Tokyo, Japan; ‘Coded Cultures: City As Interface’, curated by, Vienna, Austria; ‘Generation in Transition New Art from India’, curated by Magda Kardasz, Zachęta National Gallery Of Art, Warsaw, Poland, Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius, Lithunia; ‘Louder Whisper’, curated by Meena Vari, CRISAP,  London, UK; ‘Myth – Reality’, The Guild, Mumbai; ‘City As Studio 10.03’, Sarai, New Delhi; ‘CONSUME’, curated by Papo Colo, Jeanette Ingberman, Lauren Rosati and Herb Tam, Exit Art , New York, USA; ‘Continuum Transfunctioner’, curated by Geetanjali Dang, exhibit 320, New Delhi; ‘Contested Space – Incursions’, curated by Heidi Fichtner, Gallery Seven Arts, New Delhi; ‘Astonishment of being’, curated by Deeksha Nath, Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Kolkatta. He has taught in the past at Dutch Art Institute (DAI) and Center for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT). He has been supported by fellowships by Sarai/CSDS (2005), Openspace India (2009), TED (2009) and Center for Media Studies (CMS) (2006). He has presented his projects and proposals in the last few years at Periferry, Guwahati (2010), Exit Art, New York (2010), Futuresonic, Manchester (2009), Wintercamp, Amsterdam (2009), 48c: Public Art Ecology (2008), Khoj (2008), Urban Climate Camp, ISEA (2008), Sensory Urbanism, Glasgow (2008), First Monday, Chicago (2006), The Paris Accord (2006) and PSBT/Prasar Bharti (2006). In July 2011, he curated a residency and exhibition project on time called, ‘On the Sidereal’ at The Guild (Mumbai). 

Prayas Abhinav lives in Bangalore, India.