February 18 – April 30, 2005
Talwar gallery is pleased to announce (desi)re, an exhibition expressing the raison d’être of our gallery by bringing together a group of artists that have been introduced by us over the past few years. The exhibition will open to the public on February 18 and will be on view through March 26.
desire simmers with passion, is ruled by obsession and driven by purpose. As George Bernard Shaw once remarked, “You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.”
desi, a Hindi word implying “of one’s own country” and used frequently for “of Indian origin” employed here not just as a subset of desire but also as a curatorial component. The Artists shared origin or “roots” are reflected merely as a single strand in a complex woven fabric that is each artist individually without any overt superficial cultural identification.
The artists featured in this exhibition–A. Balasubramaniam, Zarina Bhimji, Allan deSouza, Subba Ghosh, Sheila Makhijani, Ranjani Shettar, Anjum Singh and Alia Syed–employ a variety of media to translate their unique individual vision with regards to purpose, identity, history and place. Their desires to exceed expectations of locality, of self; to extract purpose and significance from their familiar environs, to create these artists have renegotiated the borders and refuse to singularly site themselves or their work. Their search and their work traverse beyond any simplified categorization based on geography, religion, culture and race.
Shettar’s installation arouses our senses by indulging in celebration of the material while invoking an aesthetically spiritual experience; Bhimji provokes with subtle eloquence and beauty the personal and metaphorical excursions; Balasubramaniam’s works questioning our sense of perception exposes its subjectivity; deSouza questions belonging and basis of authentication through creating works using the detritus from his own body while Ghosh drawing on the image as a repository of values, places his own self image masquerading as the other to excavate the underlying social realities; Singh’s oeuvre draws from the rituals of daily life, from the visible commercialization imbibed by consumers to the forsaken and hidden vestibules of urban living; the deliberate yet playful lines of Makhijani are intricate, delicate and beautiful, and in their subversion of scale, could masquerade either as architectural blue-prints of a futuristic structure or a cross section of a micro-organism and Syed’s textural weave of the personal and fictional is constantly renegotiated in her cyclical and luscious treatment of the moving image.
These Artists in the exhibition are Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Catholic living in New Delhi, London, Bangalore and Los Angeles working in the medium of painting, film, installation, photography and sculpture. Considered just “desi” in the minds of the uninitiated, these artists collectively represent more than just the country of their ethnic origin; they invoke an awareness of self and the world. They have renegotiated borders to include what lies beyond their inherited “origin”. The boundaries of their cultural landscape do not have a distinct edge and their identity not captive of their passports. The moniker “desi” used for them or for that matter any other group of “ethnically” aligned artists is not just simplistic and naïve but restrictive and exclusionary designation that imparts a linear view of the complex, multidimensional nature of their work and our world.
For further information please call the gallery at 212 673 3096