Saturday, October 5, 2013

Review - Miss Butterfly - Shadi Ghadirian, Unnatural Landscapes, Anuchitra and more...


Miss Butterfly - Shadi Ghadirian

When citizens of a country awaken each day to haul the burden of a religion-imposed propriety, true freedom becomes an elusive ray of sunlight. Capturing this irony, photography artist Shadi Ghadirian presents an insider’s view of the confined lives of the ‘fairer’ sex in an ‘un-fair’ world, in her solo show at Lakeeren Art Gallery, Mumbai.. observes Sushma Sabnis.
(Work by Shadi Ghadirian)
A large needle pierces an imaginary cloth of air with a woollen string, making large spider webs. Patiently, like the arachnid weaver, the string is drawn in and out into knots and tight concentric polygons. The webs block the openings of trapdoors, roof outlets, doorways, windows, even room separators. Light pierces the house, as light cares little for permission to enter, but people would need permissions to come and go as they please. Tehran based artist Shadi Ghadirian’s photography works speak volumes as she dedicates them to her imprisoned journalist friend Nazanin Khosravani.

Inspired by a play ‘Miss Butterfly’ by Bijan Mofid, the artist focuses on the silent struggle for freedom from outdated doctrines and laws which cripple society and its progress. The price of breaking free from a self imposed comfortable cage, would require a determined effort not just by one person but by the entire society. In her works, Shadi positions the protagonist, a young Iranian woman with a holistic identity in a positive light. Shadi subtly implies the political subjugation of this entity, by visually striking a balance between an elegant visible beauty and a silent struggle in closed, ‘protected’ rooms. Represented in stark black and white photography works, the message however, of defeating one’s complacence to get what they rightfully deserve, dissolves any notion of direct victimisation.

( Work by Shadi Ghadirian)
Each of the photographs show a woman weaving the spider web on portals of entry, like doorways and entrances. The deliberate evasion of the viewer’s gaze by the protagonist is a metaphor for the reluctance of a society or a community to take the first step towards that ephemeral ‘freedom’. Weaving larger polygonal shapes in the web, she seems to convince herself of the supposed ‘protection‘ it can give her from the big bad world outside. 

A prison is not just about barricades, shackles, chains and high brick walls; there are far more closeted ideological prisons existent in the minds of humankind. The artist refers to those impenetrable confined places where even light does not venture. Through her works, Shadi attempts to urge the viewer to break free of the darkness of unquestioned conditioning and false ritualistic beliefs. 
( Work by Shadi Ghadirian)
A modern woman living within the conservative codes of the Shariah law, Shadi uses threads of her own experiences to incorporate into the works. With a strong spinal support of women before her who have lived and died in conformity, Shadi quietly holds a non-conformist woman’s perspective in a male dominated environment. 

One could be reminded of the effect of Edvard Munch’s painting ‘The Scream’ on the viewer, but Shadi’s photographs would probably invoke a silent scream; a cry deep within oneself waiting to be freed with illumination. She intends the viewer to seek a true freedom and watch as the world around metamorphoses into an illumined society. 

‘Miss Butterfly’ a must see, is on view till 8th November 2013.


Unnatural Landscapes

Abadi Art Space, New Delhi presents a group show of photography works of three photography artists titled, ‘Unnatural Landscapes’. The show reflects on nature, human interventions and city environments. 

Capturing the urban and the distorted realities of today’s living, and its effects on humankind the show explores various aspects in a digital photography format. The participating artists are Bhuvanesh Gowda, Sandeep Biswas and Vineet Kumar.

The show is on view till 11th October 2013.


Ganges art gallery, Kolkata presents an exclusive group show of miniature art, titled, ‘Anuchitra’.  The school of miniature paintings has been part of India’s cultural heritage and in this show, the small format works have been chosen to be displayed.

The participating artists are Ramananda Bandopadhyay, Jogen Chowdhury, Lalu Prasad Shaw, Sunil Das, Shahbuddin Ahmed, Nandini Chirimar, Alok Bal, Debraj Goswami, Prasanta Sahu, Tanmoy Samanta, Mahula Ghosh, Rajiba Lochan Pani, Ushmita Sahu, Partha Shaw.

The show is on view till 31st October 2013.

Journey with bull

Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai presents a solo show of sculptures by eminent artist, sculptor Ratan Krishna Saha. The show is titled, ‘Journey With Bull’ and on display are exquisite sculptures of the bull, full of animated energy and power.

The sculptor uses the bull more as a language for his depictions than just an object of sheer masculine beauty and strength. The works are bronze sculptures and figurines.

The inauguration will be by Mr Anjan Chatterjee and Mrs Suchindra Chatterjee at 6:30 pm on 8th October 2013.

The show is on view till 14th October 2013.

Surreal of the Blue
( A work by Prashant Salvi)
Out of the Blue art space, Mumbai presents a solo art exhibition by artist Prashant Salvi. The show displays the artist’s unique style of surrealistic paintings which he renders in mixed media sometimes on paper and on canvas. 

The works explore a exaggerated humorous sexuality as cultural and natural happenings and the forms are distorted from their actual sizes and proportions to depict various human emotions and nuances.

The exhibition will be held at the Wine Cellar at Out of the Blue.

The show is on view from 10th October to 15th October 2013.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

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