An imposed isolation brought in by the lockdown was disconcerting to begin
with, more so because I have no access to my studio which unfortunately is
located in the red zone. As an artist,
it goes without saying that I am accustomed to being holed up in the studio
spending days and even weeks with very little social interaction. But that
kind of isolation is by choice and a conscious device to focus on
the work at hand as against something that is imposed through external
But human nature being what it is, the discomfort of imposed isolation soon
lost its sting and the lockdown became the new normal. In some ways, this
forced inactivity and isolation has facilitated a deeper introspection much
like being locked up in one of those meditation centers that use social
isolation as a tool to disengage oneself from the world outside and focus the
attention on to one’s subjective reality. It is a cathartic process that
gradually reveals the accumulation of prejudices, memories, and the cycle of
visceral responses all of which together shape one’s personality and the
experience of reality.
In a way, the lockdown across the globe also seems to have provided a moment
of collective introspection and brought to the surface social prejudices,
notions of entitlement, and exploitative strategies that have been condoned
and perpetuated for decades or even centuries.
Hopefully, once the virus settles in and turns non-lethal through our
acquired immunity, we might gain a world that is less divisive and more
inclusive, and conscious of the wellbeing of the planet and the lethal
fallout from the loss of biodiversity. Probably this pandemic is the wakeup
call we urgently needed. - Baiju Parthan (July
Baiju Parthan is
a Mumbai based inter-media artist,
working simultaneously with traditional media as well as digital technology.
He is one of the early exponents of new-media art and ‘mediatic-realism’ in
the Indian contemporary art scene.
art presents the collision between various worldviews and the ontological
fallout of those collisions. History is a compilation of tracks and debris
left behind by such collisions for the artist. Parthan combines
these fragments and references together to create paintings that reveal a
multi-layered phenomenological landscape.
work in the digital realm consists of explorations of the boundary where the
virtual and real overlap and bleed into each other. Through
computer-generated virtual objects, interactive installations, large scale
prints on metallic surfaces, as well as animated 3D lenticular prints, Parthan manages
to present a critique on high technology and its impact on our experience of
reality and life.
Presented here are four landmark creations by Baiju Parthan that
have changed the course of how we perceive new-media art.