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25 Years of The Guild


A. Ramachandran I Akbar Padamsee I Altaf I Amit Ambalal I Anupam Sud I Baiju Parthan I
Dilip Ranade I G. R. Iranna I Gieve Patel I Gigi Scaria I Gulammohammed Sheikh I
Jyoti Bhatt I K. G. Subramanyan I K. Laxma Goud I K. P. Reji I Krishen Khanna I
N. N. Rimzon I Nagji Patel I Navjot Altaf I Pooja Iranna I Prajakta Potnis I Rajkumar I
Rakhi Peswani I Ram Rahman I Rashmimala I Ravi Agarwal I Riyas Komu I
Sathyanand Mohan I Shadi Ghadirian I Shantibai I Shibu Natesan I Sudhir Patwardhan I
Sumedh Rajendran I T. V. Santhosh I Vidya Kamat I Vivan Sundaram I Zakkir Hussain

Preview: 19 August 2022

On view until 25 August 2022

at
CCA Galleries
Bikaner House
Pandara Road, New Delhi
 

     
 

Krishnapriya C. P.
 

             

Implicated Being, Being Implicated
 

Spectrum of Intense Geographies 

Zakkir Hussain 

Where does the body begin and where does it end? 
How does the body get mutilated, compartmentalized, arranged and absorbed within a social framework?
How do boundaries dissolve and at the same time get defined?
 

Zakkir Hussain in his painting maps the presence of the fragmented body as an embodied existential question, as experiential traces posed to audiences. The body here is at times an image representing reality, a metaphoric poetry, and at times a hybrid form. It is mutilated, compartmentalized, arranged and absorbed on the painted surface. The presence and disappearance of the sacrificial gestural body, or many a times the sacrificed limb itself, constructs a stratified terrain, to be navigated by the onlooker, well aware of occupying an already existing body that is unknowingly implicated. One is compelled to ask who then is the narration about? Can I safely distance myself or am I also implicated?  

Hussain here has built steady layers resonating his state. The emerging physicality of the accumulated layer also registering a performative act, the act of making the surface, drawing, painting and repainting. The alternating compelling acts of assertion and the efforts of erasure, manifest as reenforced rhythmic patterns conjuring worlds of violence and forced silence, of narratives and preordained inarticulations. As prophecies of the inevitable, as unambiguous disclosures of vulnerable subsistence in peripheral fractions voicing testimonies of muted resistance.  

Hussain leads the well-prepared onlooker into a labyrinth of uncertainties. A treacherous route is presented as a spectrum of intense geographies to be traversed. Worlds within worlds, maps within maps, here one has to also repeatedly encounter barricades. An expanse of ridged and uncompromising architectures, maybe referring to the corporeal restrictions taxed on given and chosen identities. As much as Hussain is interested in arranging visual metaphors he also lucidly invokes emerging meanings, compelling one to revisit and reimagine the presented imagery.  

The enigmatic aesthetics that transpire from the residues of the embodied emotions manifest as panels, arranged in a sequence opening up as an intricate web holding a cosmos of pieces reflecting a complex interiority. Hussain’s interrogation is about the ‘self’ and it is perhaps in relation to the hostile and precarious state of how memories of histories are manifested in assembling the present. 
  

Fragile Blueprints

Rashmimala 

Rashmimala is a delicate observer, responding and documenting the most significant details of life that build our natural worlds. Taking after the compositional aesthetics of botanical drawings, her works are presented as suspended theatrical specimens. These individual components of a collective ecosystem are arranged as fragile blueprints laid out as intricate chronicles of unusual narratives.  

The body of work that she has generated over a span of time, charts out a fragile interconnectedness between the natural world and the acquired knowledge systems developed around it. A small part of this body is presented here as a distilled collection. In many ways this collection locates a region, identifying some of its wild plants or ‘minor local plants’ as Rashmimala refers to them. All the works here are an outcome of a recent Artist Residency that she was engaged in with The Guild Art Gallery.  

Plants together make up the most closely associated kingdom for human beings, as one of the biggest harvesters of their various benefits, as nutrition, as medicine, as domesticated companions and as potential restorers of devastated ecosystems. The knowledge that we collectively have about plants is extensive, but do we really know everything about them? By choosing how we want to relate with them we can learn more about them and they about us, in the most empathetic manner. Here Rashmimala’s artistic research unfolds intimate narratives, attentive relationship building and the delicate overlaying of mediums. She has embraced an inseparable bond with a otherwise negligible species of plants, largely seen as weeds. 

Rashmimala has developed her process by studying and familiarizing herself with the early botanical drawings by manuscript makers and colonizers, who intensely documented fauna and flora. Botanical drawings were not always only developed for the purpose of documenting or as knowledge banks for extraction, they were through history also painted to register intense beauty, as accounts for observing the ‘world around’ with a ‘creative’ spirit. 

In a similar spirit, the artist here becomes a discoverer of secretive worlds, of life, relationships and sharing.


The Residues of War

Shadi Ghadirian

Shadi Ghadirian’s photography investigates dimensions of violence and the ways in which it has settled into the ‘everyday’. Her frames roll out as scenarios that are seemingly comfortable, familiar and at times altogether too common. But perhaps they are blind spots that we often miss out on, a step closer, a second look invites us to notice the inlaid subtlety that suddenly becomes visible. Then it is no longer an acceptable image that one can pass by lightly. Photography here reasserts itself as an indisputable witness, even in the case of staged photography, also silently playing a part in the act of record making. 

In her series Nil Nil, she stages characteristics of domesticity, further reenforcing the notion of a powerful dominant sphere. The domestic is already a way to stringently control the woman’s body by setting rules, stereotyping gender roles and validating hierarchies. Nested within these imposing predictable scenes, reside the residues of war. As menacingly distinguished masculine experiences, embodied by objects that can and have performed in the war field. Their gloomily silence invokes a sense of dark humour that is reminding one the inevitability of these dire circumstances. 

Shadi’s My Press Photo series are a variant of the staged photographs, digitally manipulated, they are a preview into a surreal world of live action. She has juxtaposed scenes of violence with the old face shot photographs used for identifying uniformed soldiers. As young army men lined up for formal military service, they are not completely innocent and perhaps cogs in the larger machinery. As much as they are static and unrecognizable in the thousands, they play a significant role in the narrative that is being played out. The looming questions that arise are, is the hunter being hunted? Who here is the victim?

Qajar, is the series Shadi is most known for, developed when she was staring to explore photography. Inspired by the early photographs of the royalty of Iran, in particular the extensive documentation of the court women, she ventured to ‘play’ with staged photography. Shadi’s inquiries in photography have centred the gendered body, carrying prior accusations imposed on the inevitable state of existence. She explores these challenging realms, where the unspeakable dominates the narrations, with humour, playfulness, inserting the power of hope.
 

Grammar of Practice

Gulammohammed Sheikh

How do artists engage with the notion of collecting? What would a collection mean in their grammar of practice? What would this collection be? How does this collection become a reserve, an archive, that the artist can repeatedly revisit? How do these various sources manifest in a creation? These are questions that emerge when one contemplates on the complex process of developing an artwork that creators engage with. And here the nascent source of creative practice unfolds, then what does it mean for these to be brought into a discussion forum like an exhibition?    

Gulammohammed Sheikh is a keen traveller, the notion of moving from one place to the other, walking, seeing, observing and internalizing is central to his practice. And in these ‘travels’ his camera has been an integral tool, he transverses between mediums, one complementing the other. The six photographs here are an example of many such series of photographs he has taken, registering his journeys. As much as these can be traced as the source material for artists, they do not fully account for a singular narrative. It is then the moment of capturing the image, viewing through the view finder, determining the possibilities of the single frame. These deliberations arise as one wonders about the fact that a lot of Gulam’s photographs remain as a collection of negatives, yet to emerge from hibernation.  

As a glimpse into the collections he has meticulously built over the years, particularly from his early travels, the artist here becomes a receptive individual developing personal methodologies for collecting, as a practice, as critical thinking.


A Paradoxical State   

Ram Rahman 

In the series Sites of Conflict, photographer Ram Rahman, ruminates on distinct moments in the history of nation building. He traces the grand symbols of a liberal nation in the making, embracing post-independence and post-colonial presence and influences. Centring the architectural landscapes that emerged as outcomes of such assertions that were laden with imaginations of inclusive futures. These encounters are mapping a trajectory of personal narratives shaping the notion of a shared commons. The physicality of a place that has layered and embedded stories is resurrected in Ram’s atlas of reminiscences.   

He also cautiously reminds us that these built shared manifestations can be manipulated to reflect political disruptions. These vulnerable buildings were not insular to parallel developing acts of deliberate erasures, reminding us that the conjured materiality of objects, buildings, images are in fact storehouses of conflicting associations often prone to assault based on singular narratives. Built architecture becomes the body that carries the disfigurements of history, of people’s memories. 

History is a continuum, it is no longer about the past but is alive in the present as memories that can trigger action. For this exhibition Ram Rahman has created a montage, of photographs he has taken along with newspaper cut-outs, printed posters and maps. He has displayed these as vulnerable insights, also tracing time as an expanded overlapping notion. Spanning an embedded account of acts and events. The ‘site’ of the architecture here is presented as a remnant of history, as a reminder of the past, as grand ideas laid for the future, as monuments and as locations invoking painful recollections.

These juxtaposed images and texts carefully lay out sitemaps of deep historical fissures. The crumbling grand narratives are plotted along with individual personal accounts. As subjects of nation states, our lives are intertwined in irrevocable ways, carrying scarred memories wherever we go, here Ram is implicated as an active narrator of a paradoxical state and at times as a passive participant and at times as a witness in different locations in the world. Then these are no longer stories of the other, distanced from our mindscapes but inevitably growing beasts inside of our homes.

© Author and The Guild

 

     
Zakkir Hussain                  
                   
             

Zakkir Hussain, Pages from the desolated landscape,
2020-21, Mixed media on paper, 60" x 124" (Polyptych)


 

             
Rashmimala                  
                   
             

Ground I, 2022, Natural pigments with casein, cyanotype on paper,
21.5 x 29.5 inches
 
Ground II, 2022, Natural pigments with casein, cyanotype on paper,
21.5 x 29.5 inches
  Dryland, 2022, Natural pigments with casein, cyanotype on paper, 21.5 x 21.5 inches          
                   

           
In the Backyard I & II(diptych),
2022, Natural pigments with casein, cyanotype on paper,
21.5 x 21.5 inches (each)
  Fire in the Backyard II - Neem-Azadirachta, Indica, 2021, Natural pigments with casein, cyanotype on paper, 21.5 x 21.5 inches   Fire in the BackyardbII - Vajradanti-
Barleriaprionitis
, 2021, Natural pigments with casein, cyanotype on paper, 21.5 x 21.5 inches
         
                   
 

 

                 
Shadi Ghadirian                  
                   
               
                   
Shadi Ghadirian, Qajar #22, 1998, Digital print on epson paper,
35.5" x 23.5", edition 2/10
  Shadi Ghadirian, Qajar #15,
1998, Digital print on epson paper,
35.5" x 23.5", edition 3/10
             

 

 

                 

Gulammohammed Sheikh
 

                 
           

Environs, Imam Mosque, Isfahan,
1969
Archival print on Hahnemuhle photo rag, 10 x 15.5 inches, edition 1/6, printed in 2022
 
Overview of Mosques and Monuments, Isfahan,
1969, Archival print on Hahnemuhle photo rag,
9.8 x 15 inches, edition 1/6,
printed in 2022
 
Royal Mosque, Isfahan,
1969
Archival print on Hahnemuhle
photo rag, 14.5 x 10 inches,
edition 1/6, printed in 2022

 
 
Inside a Mosque, Isfahan,
1969
Archival print on Hahnemuhle
photo rag, 15 x 10 inches,
edition 1/6, printed in 2022
     
                   
           

Shahi Mosque, Isfahan,
1969
Archival print on Hahnemuhle
photo rag, 15 x 10 inches,
edition 1/6, printed in 2022
 
Mihrab,Shah Mosque, Isfahan,
1969
Archival print on Hahnemuhle photo rag, 10 x 15.8 inches, edition 1/6,
printed in 2022

 
 
Canopy before the Blue Mosque, Istanbul,
1966
Archival print on Hahnemuhle
photo rag, 15 x 10 inches,
edition 1/6, printed in 2022
 
Near a Mosque, Istanbul,
1966
Archival print on Hahnemuhle
photo rag, 15 x 9.5 inches,
edition 1/6, printed in 2022
     
                   
           

Shoreline
, Istanbul, 1966
Archival print on Hahnemuhle
photo rag, 10 x 16.5 inches,
edition 1/6, printed in 2022
 
Sculptures for sale, Roadside Shop,
Istanbul,
1966, Archival print on Hahnemuhle photo rag,
10.5 x 15.8 inches, edition 1/6,
printed in 2022
 
Metalware, Roadside Shop
Istanbul,
1966, Archival print on Hahnemuhle photo rag,
15 x 10 inches, edition 1/6,
printed in 2022
 
Ceramic Statues, Roadside Shop,
Istanbul,
1966, Archival print on Hahnemuhle photo rag,
10 x 15 inches, edition 1/6,
printed in 2022
     
                   
           

Registan Monuments, Samarqand,

1974, Archival print on Hahnemuhle photo rag, 10.5 x 17 inches,
edition 1/6, printed in 2022
 
Environs of Shah Zindeh, Samarqand,

1974, Archival print on Hahnemuhle
photo rag, 9.8 x 15.5 inches,
edition 1/6, printed in 2022
 
A Half-ruined Monument,
Samarqand,
1974, Archival print
on Hahnemuhle photo rag,
16.5 x 10 inches, edition 1/6,
printed in 2022
 
Beside Timur's Tomb, Samarqand,
1974, Archival print on Hahnemuhle
photo rag, 10 x 16.5 inches,
edition 1/6, printed in 2022
     
                   
               

Environs- Samarqand,
1974, Archival print on Hahnemuhle photo rag,
9.5 x 15.5 inches,
edition 1/6, printed in 2022
 
Ruins, Samarqand,
1974, Archival
print on Hahnemuhle photo rag,
15 x 10 inches,
edition 1/6, printed in 2022
             
 

 

                 
Ram Rahman                  
                   
           

Ayodhya Ghat, 1993,
Silver gelatin selenium toned printed on Kodak paper, 20 x 16 inches
edition 3/25
 
Shashikar Upadhyaya, Ayodhya, 1993,
Silver gelatin selenium toned printed on Ilford paper, 20 x 16 inches
edition 1/25
 
Sites of Conflicts
 
Sites of Conflicts
     
                   
           

Sites of Conflicts
 
Sites of Conflicts
 
Sites of Conflicts
 
Sites of Conflicts
     
                   
           

Sites of Conflicts
 
Sites of Conflicts
 
Sites of Conflicts
 
Sites of Conflicts
     
                   
       

Sites of Conflicts
 
 
 
Sites of Conflicts
         
 

 

                 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                 
               
   

 

 

 

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