14 Dec 2013 - 14 Feb 2014
Venue - Sunaparanta Goa Center for the Arts, Panaji, Goa
Bharat Sikka, Nikhil Chopra, Ranbir Kaleka, Sheba Chhachhi, Shilpa Gupta, Sudarshan Shetty, Tejal Shah, Valsan Koorma Kolleri, Viraj Naik
The term Rebirth arises from many layers, however literally, relating to life and the continuous cycle of birth and death we experience in our journey through existence and our spiritual progress. Conceptually, rebirth can be applied to any form of reawakening, rejuvenating, resurrection and even renaissance which occurs in realms of our daily lives, within shifts in cultures, economic cycles, galaxies in the universe, relationships, nature, architecture, politics and every progressive and even degenerative area of continuation. Every possible moment of re-birth creates a new detail, which determines as well as influences the past, the present and possibly the future.
However, when applied in the phrase ‘Rebirth of Detail’, the context shifts in a very compelling manner, where it pushes away the familiar of rebirth to a more specific kind of rebirth, that of a detail, an interesting conceptual anticlimax of sorts. The term ‘rebirth’ by itself is immediately suggestive of the literal, spiritual as well as the metaphysical meaning, but the ‘detail’ turns that into an airy, philosophical consideration into something real, tangible, lived, performed, stated and experienced, rather than just meditated upon. It immediately adds depth to the context and opens up a labyrinth of conceptual understanding. This alone created a plausible ground for the artists to conceive their works for this exhibition.
Detail also refers to the minutiae that comprise the larger picture, but tend to get overlooked, which, when tapped into, can change the entirety of the subject. The attention that is then given to these insignificant, yet fully existing areas, can transform the narrative. A rebirth or refocusing on detail also implies the sensitivity for nuance in relation to cultural progress as well, looking between the broader brush stroke of major cultural shifts and isms, bringing the attention to the finer lines. When a small or discrete area of a painting, sculpture, architecture, or even a larger social system is considered in isolation, this detail becomes a very powerful factor in the overview. It gives the detail a rebirth, a life of its own.
This exhibition brings together artists from the Indian Subcontinent with practices, which, on the surface seem to be very diverse, drawing on to performance, installation, video, sound, etc., but have been selected very conscientiously, because, each of them, in the heart of their practice, or in some way have intimately engaged with the idea of the Rebirth of Detail. I myself was drawn to this title considering the vastness of its conceptual potential and for artists to play with the idea and create their own versions of it. I engaged in intense dialogues with each artist to have an individual approach to the title to create works to support it. We spent several hours one on one, weaving into deep and light conversations touching upon the various possibilities of the subject and how it would be incorporated into each of their works within this particular exhibition venue.
Hereon, each artist opened up an entirely new meaning to the subject, and in turn, amplifying my own understanding and approach.
Sunaparanta Goa Center for Arts is a grand old Portuguese house, more than a century old, on top of the quaint hills of Altinho in Panaji. With beautiful lawns, an amphitheater and art galleries, it has been restored entirely to recreate the original architecture. The importance given to retaining the indigenous elements of the space and recreating each detail is significantly important for the venue of this exhibition.