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Contours of form and space

The show reflects the artists' perception of life



M.V. Ramanna Reddy and Duppati Sudhir Kumar with their works

THE LURE of abstraction has proved to be a challenge and continues to be so even in this century. The urge to withdraw from the world of appearances, to strip away and reach the essence or to express ideas and translate them into a special language has been the crux in arriving at the abstract formula. At the Daira Centre for Arts and Culture, the show titled `Exploring Visual Perceptions and Human Psyche' has thrown open vistas on installations and performance art. Both artists, M.V. Ramanna Reddy from Germany and Duppati Sudhir Kumar from Eritrea have confronted the nature of life and marked their experiences through the installation of visual arts and performance of their concepts.

Moods and medium

Ramanna who applies multi-media to his installations and captures mundane forms of life to enquire into the human psyche says, "I experiment with different materials for my different moods." The intricacies and subconscious levels of his work are compiled in the black and white projections of four master writers - Tagore, Mueller, Hesse and Kafka. "These are books I like," he says. Based on a design concept, Hesse's three profiles cut into wood is striking. His sculptures include a space outlined as the Buddha engraved onto a bronze miniature peepul tree. The other is on evolution, the figure of a man cast in bronze stepping away from a mould. The most striking of Ramanna's work are his photographs of different people from a coconut vendor to an artist to a student in shades of green and yellow on which he has penned their views on life. Emotions that range from "time pass" to "roller coaster", "hard work" to "great". His images of men walking, made up of rows of binary numbers is an attempt at using art as communication.

Sudhir, who teaches art in the Horn of Africa, is engaged in exploring various modes of visual arts. His ideas are based on philosophic issues. Playing with a few geometric shapes, particularly the triangle, the circle and the square, Sudhir has evolved interesting compositions marked by a strong predilection towards design. The mixed media of polythene and skeins of wool wound around wooden frames allows a free play of his imagination with these shapes, which are structured to be meditative and harmoniously blended. Sudhir conceptualises his ideas pertaining to `mark making' as a preoccupation associated with prehistoric art. By way of explaining the space created by the threads, he says, "The rhythmic line cutting space marks the discovery of self space while the white circles on polythene with self portrait sketches is a search for perfection." Also on display are framed sheets burnt at the edges, at the centre and finger printed titled "Old Testament", "Evidence" and "ID".

The commonality running through these artists' works is the connectivity with materials, which traditionally have had a specific function, but have been dexterously transformed as works of art. They have arrived at this visual language through a process of experimentation and exhausting all other possibilities in their repertoire. These are not just forms appropriated as patterns to underscore the aesthetics of visual pleasure rather the artists seek in them and draw out a parallel of life's existence. The heterogeneity of expression, a movement of ideas and images and techniques have allowed these artists to formulate a language of abstraction recognisably their own, to accommodate a range of experiences.

The show is on view between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. till November 6.

DEEPA ALEXANDER

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