At Dhaka Art Summit
Hemali Bhuta, Remen Chopra, Baptist Coelho, Vibha Galhotra, Nandan Ghiya, Sonia Jose, Reena Saini Kallat, Manjunath Kamath, Riyas Komu, Nandita Kumar, Ritesh Meshram, Prajakta Potnis, Gigi Scaria, Kartik Sood, Kiran Subbaiah, Neha Thakar
The future is yesterday’s tomorrow. The ephemeral elements of time are permanent frames that layer perceptions, and everything that one refers to is in context with a time frame that determines the existence of a moment. Whether it be seconds, minutes, hours, centuries or light years, change is an inherent factor of time; nothing can be preserved forever. There is a desire to hold time, to let time go, to want time to stay or to disappear. ‘Citizens of Time’ are the keepers of these universal borders of time. They explore the variables in time folders while realising the crucial existence of an alternative presence and engagement within their time vaults of space and works. The impermanence of time filters in-and-out of landscapes, glass jars, homes, objects and the mind’s perceptions.
The contemporary perception of telling time has been transformed from its history of division through sundials, shadow clocks and light. ‘Citizens of Time’ are divided into four time pockets - the residue of time through natural elements, memory traps from spaces and personal environments, translated time maps of imagination and mind-narratives of distorted time. Each of these edited spans of created moments is layered with elements of the artist’s personal rendition of time. They exist as analogies of experience that differ from created utopias to documentations of timed reality. Stephen Hawking’s book, “A Brief History of Time” renders time from the evolution of the Big Bang Theory into the futuristic possibility of time travel and alternative realities. He further explains Einstein’s theory of time as the fourth dimension of our three-dimensional world. The artists of ‘Citizens of Time’ explore the minute details and texture which make up this fourth dimension. These are elements that build up relationships, societies, cities, countries and eventually the universe. Time goes beyond its metaphysical existence to translate into visual forms of a new aesthetic of time in fantasies, nostalgia and memories. These personal capsules of time plant themselves into a universe of subjective interpretations of history and the future.
Time, in the form of natural elements, parallels global warming to an unknown land; and bottled time with notes of precise minutes and thoughts captured, converse with an artist’s rendition of personal notes in timeless frames of landscapes of a mountain and lake. The places and works, similar to the nature of time straddle between timelessness and the precision of moments. Taking time into personal spaces, the second pocket explores the location of the body and frozen time frames. Here one experiences a revision of working processes, frozen time and peeled memories from homes and histories. Time seeps in through wallpapers, refrigerators and windows. A visual distortion of created realties follows to change the tradition of the history of time. The third pocket sees time repeating itself in created environments which are subject to the viewer’s imagination. History layers itself with contemporary happenings and loops into renditions of the artists’ compositions. In the final section, there is a departure from the material into a distortion of the present, through the past in time frames of the mind. Here, the property of time and places are blurred to become the ownership of the mind’s soul and time returns back into the personal universe. These time deposits carry forward into memories as experienced time frames, which pulse into the past, history, experienced present and travelled future.
Text by Veeranganakumari Solanki.