B A L A J I P O N N A
The Things I Say
At Studio la Citta in collaboration with The Guild
27 – June 26, 2010
Studio La Citta is pleased to present a solo exhibition of Balaji
Ponna in collaboration with The Guild, Mumbai.
“Balaji continues his preoccupation with the contemporary popular/ist
idea of nationality and brings to fore his persistent engagement
with the themes that are closer to him. In a sense his works are
‘anachronic’ because of his persistence with the idea of nation
and nationalism, when even the idea of nation itself is
collapsing before the power of ‘capital’. His works are a take on
the contemporary sociological, political realities vis-a- vis the
utopian dreams and idealized popular/ist ideals
that the young independent Indian nation began with. Often his
works question the system’s inconsistencies with pun and satire.
But interestingly these also refer to the popular/ist ideologies
in circulation defining betterment and emancipation. His works
also talk about labour and its unending toils. “Thanks for the
last elections...” is an interesting take on the electoral
politics and the way it’s been performed by the
political/bureaucratic/capital class in India, and on the other
hand is also a reflection of the ever present poverty and
resourcefulness of the people to survive.
Balaji’s recent take on the concept of nationalism brings through
his beliefs on the democratic system and a possibility of
reformation within the same order. By remembering an
imaginary and idealized past of political and social ethicality he
attempts to visualize a better possibility.
(Excerpt from an essay by V. Divakar)
Born in 1980, Balaji Ponna received his B.F.A in Graphics from
Andhra University with Gold medal and M.F.A in Graphics from Visva
- Bharati University, Santiniketan. He has been recipient of H.R.D.
National Scholarship for young Artists (2004–05).
Balaji’s first solo ‘Black Smoke’ was presented by Bose Pacia
Kolkata in collaboration with The Guild in 2009.
Selected group exhibitions include - "Contemporary Exoticism"
curated by Marco Meneguzzo at
Studio La Citta, Verona; Art Basel by Studio la Citta, 2009;
New Vanguard: Trends in Contemporary Indian Art', Saffronart, New
York and The Guild, New York;
’The July Show’ at The Guild and ‘Are We Like This Only’ at
Vadehra Art Gallery, Delhi. His works were exhibited at the France
Print Biennial in 2009.