Installing a confused message
Carol Pereira's concerns may be laudable. But something goes grossly wrong in its execution
Carol Pereira wants to convey a message through her installation work
INSTALLATION ART means different things to different people. While some artists use it as an extension of sculptural form, others combine sound and movement to add dimensions to their works. Installation art is often used to transcend the barriers set by conventional art forms and also to vigorously experiment with form, content, and expression. By definition, installations were supposed to be transitory in nature, but then, many artists break this façade too, by creating permanent installations! Installation art is supposed to have come about as a protest against the crass commodification and commercialisation of conventional art forms such as painting and sculpture. But there are several artists who actually manage to market their installations quite effectively!
Carol Pereira is an artist who wants to convey a message through her installation work. In her statement, she says: "In a world of constant eruptive, biological disaster and impending doom, I bring forth a kaleidoscope of plastic pomp manifest in a landscape made oddly ill. Heaps of plastic-scape clutter to become yet another sedimentary layer of the earth's crust."
But it is the visual transcription of the idea that, unfortunately, leaves much to be desired. As one enters the gallery, the viewer is confronted with three huge heaps of unidentifiable matter, wrapped in blue and red plastic sheets and fishing nets. Hanging on these sheets and nets are small and colourful plastic balls. There are bigger balls too strewn around some transparent, others carrying a product name.
One can perceive some raw energy permeating the installation, but the colour, form, and content of the work can ultimately lead the viewer only to a "loud" conclusion. The three mounds do not make up for anything that is either aesthetically gratifying or intellectually stimulating.
In a corner of the gallery plays a video showing kids and fashionably-dressed women throwing plastic balls around and on each other in the vicinity of the installation. The playful mood does not in any way correspond to the grave concerns the artist claims to express.
In effect, after watching the installation and the video, the viewer is most likely to be as confused as the final sentence of the artist's statement, which reads thus: "Polar forces at play and war to breed life. The work rings a glass to alert beauty, pain, lusting idealism made sour, loss and gain found in the search for the child god emanating eternal possibilities unrealised."
(The show continues at Galleryske till the end of the month.)
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