A Time of Change - Indian Express

A group show featuring five artists, talks about holding on in the face of change


There are dramatic changes taking place around the globe today, so we need to hold on, pause, take consideration and contemplate,” says Celina Jeffery, co-curator of the exhibition, Hold On, that opened on June 2 at Gallery Maskara, Colaba. Through the works of five artists, this exhibition explores the various meanings of holding on in the face of change.


“Whatever the type of change, with it comes a lack of definition,” says Avantika Bawa, an artist and Assistant Professor of fine arts. She is co-curating the exhibition that is on till July 3.


Marek Ranis is a Polish visual artist whose overawing installation and video work explore the loss of white surface in the world because of global warming. In a site-specific installation titled Himsaila Project, white cotton sheets with blocks of ice wrapped inside them hang from the ceiling of the gallery. As this ice melts, droplets of water fall and collect in a tin container placed below. Meanwhile, the video, titled Hold On, plays alongside in a loop, and in the accompanying audio, viewers hear a NASCAR driver’s crew give him repeated instructions to ‘hold on’. “I have tried to recreate a feeling of sublimity,” says Ranis, “but it is also melancholic in a way because it deals with the issue of global warming.”


In another larger than life installation titled Waterline, collaborative team Satellite Bureau have placed a photograph of the oceanic trade routes of 2010 on the wall and framed it with a large wooden vessel, the shape of which mimics that of the local fishing boats. “We always try to link the visual element with the place, and make something that’s local,” says Chris St Amand, a Canadian artist and member of Satellite Bureau, referring to the wooden, boat-shaped frame.


For Mansoor Ali, a Vadodra-based artist, the idea of holding on means something else entirely. In his installation, Beautifully Corrupt, he uses wood devouring termites to represent the insidious corruption rampant in India’s political scene.


Besides the artwork in the gallery, Stuart Keeler, a Canadian performance artist and sculptor will do two walking performances on June 4 as part of the exhibition. In both, he will walk wearing a plain white kurta, and paint it green as he walks along, thereby creating “hybridity between green space and urban density.” In a city as populated as Mumbai, he asks, “Where does one go to get away from the density?”