Installation Art & Visual Cultures

The choice of installation art is highly significant. The viewer of an installation is not separated by a screen, but can become part of the art-work by sharing its space. The installation can be touched and interacted with. One could walk through Pavan Kumar’s “urban farm”. His representation of artificiality was not simply to be viewed, it was to be experienced. At a superficial level, Avani Rao’s installation represented the “dynamics of newspaper circulation and its recycling”. Its deeper signification exposed the ironic function that the news industry carries out in the everyday life of our cities. P. C. Prasad’s installation upended the conventional screen of artistic representation. As opposed to projecting the artist’s expression on to the screen for the viewer to interpret, Prasad projected the viewer her / himself onto the screen.

I. Recycled News

Art installation by Dr. Avani Rao Gandra

Part of City On The Edge

Medium – Newspapers, plastic sheets, steel mesh, jute rope.

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The dynamics of newspaper circulation and its recycling, in a way suggest how news repeats itself – the stories differ but the essence is the same, of corruption, suicides, rape, political, economic upheavals. They give hints and traces underlying stress, greed, frustration and a general loss of balance s in the teeming city life. The tainted yellowing of old papers signifies fading public memories.

These signs erupt as hidden wounds, bought afresh every morning and fade away into lighter shades and tones as time passes. The ebb and fall remain in underlying conscience, bought to the fore by fresh bursts of incidents and events.

The black humor of hidden truths, opinionated, dogmatic and biased news leaves incisions on the harried senses. All complex, the newspaper in its composite fold informs, entertains in colour, builds opinion and judgment in black and white, whereas life is in shades of greys.

Only to be folded and recycled again with a glimmer of hope.

II. Reflecting a Vision

Art Installation by P. C. Prasad

Part of City On The Edge

Medium – Cloth, mirror.

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An urban man works round the clock and leads a mechanical life by making maximum use of increasing technology to fulfil his needs.

The city is a red carpet welcome for him but he needs to realise the pitfalls below the glowing path. The mirror is an invitation to reflect on the loss of holistic and a wholesome life.

III. Urban Farming

Art installation by Pavan Kumar. D

Part of City On The Edge

Medium – Aluminium wire and plastic

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Life in a big city has many disadvantages particularly in modern India. The remark of the English poet Cowpen, “God made the country and man made the town” is very apt. Life in a big city is artificial and sophisticated because man is divorced from nature. He lives, grows and dies in the lap of artificial agents and machines. He does not know how a crop field dances, how a river glides smoothly, how the cow-herd drive his cattle and how the Nature herself nourishes her countless children through various agencies. In a big city, man is cut off from the nursing, educative and for­mative aspects of Nature.

In the city men live like pigeons in holes. The smoke emitted by chimneys pollutes the natural purity of environment day and night. Fresh air, golden sun light and clean water are rare in a big city. Here men live on tinned food, refrigerated water and conditioned air, with the result that their body and soul become hollow from within and are polluted right from infancy.

The installation called ‘’farming in big city’’ is an experience of creating artificial surroundings by planting flowers that are plastic in nature.

I experience it because i am part of the city and equally responsible for it………………

Man is always happier in the lap of nature than he is under the artificial shadows of modern amenities.

IV. Visual Cultures

Besides the installations by artists and the neighbourhood study, the exhibition space included an exhibition of a large number of photographs related to the ‘urban’ sent in by contributors from across the country. The camera, as seeing machine, has acquired a crucial position in the visual cultures of a society that is obsessed with visual media. The photographs that were curated by Madhu Reddy and Aditya Mopur performed several functions. Some of them were expressive; artistic in their composition. Some of them were documentary in effect. Art apart, they serve a tactical function by rendering visible the unseen aspects of the city.

Visual Cultures: Urban Sensibilities

Curated by Madhu Reddy & Aditya Mopur: photographs from several contributors

From the submissions we have selected images which show us stories from the CITY, its changing or static factors. People who make it, heritage which need not be measured in brick and mortar, culture which is integrated or still being defined within new boundaries. Challenges and success stories, evolving and preserved, nostalgic personal tales, celebrations reinterpreted or transferred rural sensibilities now part and parcel of the skylines and by-lanes.

Boundaries here are no issues, definitions fluid, left to your interpretation. We aim to share stories which we hope will raise questions about the “Urban” and lay to rest some. Common threads are emerging and cities all around seem so connected.

Contributors:

  • Chandan Gomes

  • Gopal MS

  • Harsha Valdamani

  • Javed Iqbal

  • Krishna Tummalapali

  • Madhu Reddy

  • Maniyarasan Rajendran

  • Mithun Kumar

  • Neha Malholtra

  • PeeVee PV

  • Sankar Sridhar

  • Shilpa Gavane

  • Shiva Chiluveru

  • Soham Gupta

  • Srinivas Kurungati

  • Swarat Ghosh

  • Vivek Muthuramalingam

  • Pradhan Thandra

  • Rajesh Pamnani

  • Ashwin Mudigonda

  • Lipi