Profanations: Art Show with a Difference

My artist friends R Venu, Hochimin, Sivadasan, Vinu VV and Anil K N have materialized a unique group exhibition of paintings at Darbar Hall Art Centre, Kochi from 22 to 28 February 2010.  The show is titled “Profanations” and is curated and organized by Zen Studio Gallery, Eramalloor, Alapuzha.

"The Attendant" by Hochimin. Oil on canvas

The show brings together the recent works of these young and dynamic artists of Kerala that challenge visual culture and politics in plural ways.  The works also invoke some of the contemporary issues, visual idioms and thematic in current Kerala and the world.  They address questions of representation, hegemony and resistance in their own ways.

An Intricate Water Colour Painting By R Venu

The works of Venu explore the labyrinthine intricacies of power and and its manifestations through an intimate and elaborate visualization of details.  He makes visible the invisible micro operations of power and docility. Sites of power and resistance are inscribed minutely and intricately on his vast canvases in a meditative and meandering manner.  His visual depiction is multi-layered and interwoven.

Hochimin explores the alarming contours and contagious terrains of hegemony and cultural subordination in the Indian and Kerala context with special visual significations aimed at the Indian fascism and Brahmanism in purticular.  The geographical and topographical ethereal landscapes and bizarre figures enact a vital theatre of life, expression and counter action.  His whole body of work visually addresses and interogates the cultural puzzles and riddles of the caste society with amazing and surreal imagery and awesome textures.

Sivadasan explores the magical and tragical play of colours and simple images drawn from everyday life in a refreshing but complex and illuminating manner.  His enquiry into the visual realm is ingenuous and resonant.  Some of his works are deceptively simple and ironically cathartic.

A Painting in Three parts by Anil K N

Vinu’s almost life size self portraits in water colour are playful and pardoxical.  They are also political statements and serious critiques of contemporary cultural politics in Kerala.  They articulate the muted trajectory of subaltern voice and agency in our society.

Anil also explores the untouched branches and spaces of exclusion and marginalization in Kerala cultural context.  Through the representation of simple tree branches and twigs he visually renders an allegory of our current political struggles of excluded people for land and human rights. His exemplary command over the acrylic medium is enchanting and visually soothing.

The splendid catalog brought out by Zen team and the art critics Sudheeran, Benoy and Sunil also stands apart as an expression of creativity and critical consciousness.  The collective work of these young people are really meaningful and critically valuable in the field of visual culture and representation in Kerala today.  As I was leaving the gallery I was also interested to note a lot of youngsters coming and watching the show at D H Hall.

Venu, Sivadasan, Vinu, Hochimin and Jr. Hochimin before Vinu's Self

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