Sunday, March 20, 2011

General thoughts on Drawing: installation

An expansive drawing installation is something I would like to attempt by MMXII.

Drawing on the walls of a gallery space, surfaces of old structures--outer walls of houses, and on other surfaces. Expressions that bridge the abstract and the named/ known forms--allowing for varied interaction in a shared didactic. There are sculptural; possibilities in drawing which I hope to get to/ arrive at in the next few years. The constructs underlying such expression as in the case of houses would take into account the lived aesthetics of the inhabitants arrived at through interaction. Most gallery spaces are relatively spartan and sterile -- devoid of the lived aspect, and this in turn allows for an engagement prioritized upon different


Friday, March 18, 2011

Procellous Narratives

The Procellous Narrative series is a deeply thought-provoking series to me. Exploration. Through it I allow myself to incorporate the detritus from my vocabulary of visual marks which have been arrived at, or rather stumbled across over time I have breathed; which get redeemed via juxtapositing and relationships—a part of my family of marks; albeit the combative/ 'dysfunctional’ side or rather my principled side as I see it.
Procellous Narratives

Drawing: Procellous Narrative 3: Section 1

Monday, March 14, 2011

Onsen Musings: Agendas and lived aesthetics

We are often approached by individuals with their agendas which sometimes overlap our focus and path but more often do not. Yet it behooves us to hold them in regard, although one may only hope but cannot have steadfast expectations that the same will be accorded to us.

Its worth noting what Max Siegel with G. F.Lichtenberg write in Know What Makes Them Tick, about someone making us feel uncomfortable — at which point it helps to ask oneself whether what bothers us would be different if it was done/ asked in a “different way or in a different situation.” Is it possible for the other to benefit from the ways in which we are different, as also the way we see the world.

Further, as pointed out in Know What Makes Them Tick, in love opposites attract, but in business opposites tend to shy away/ resist. Rank opportunism pushes banality to the fore and obliterates or perhaps blunts ones perspective to see mutual benefit and allowing things to flourish within a genuinely worthy framework. A tepid lived aesthetic as also an absolute lack of personal ethics also play out as a part and parcel of such agendas; dovetailing often with aggrandizement.

Know What Makes Them Tick: How to Successfully Negotiate Almost Any Situation / Max Siegel with G. F.Lichtenberg. Harper, 2010.

Drawing: Onsen Musings 06

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Sanctuary of Line

In the year 1991, I worked on Meshes of an Ineffable Sanctuary, a digital piece, which won the Mayor of Hiroshima Prize the following year in a student competition, The Bridge to Hiroshima.

I took this nod among others as a sign towards validation of my endeavors — which later led me to see possibilities for myself and my sensibility through Japanese idioms.

The drawings at the top of this page are rendered on Japanese media which are normally used to write poetry. My drawings are manifested by phenomena and subtleties that have impacted my thinking, where I have come to see line as a sanctuary — a pointing that modulates itself as well as requires modulation which in turn leads to knowing. That sense of knowing is in itself a sanctuary and knowing via drawing is truly a priviledge. Drawing, in a sense is about working with time and revelling in ones passage as traversed without any attempt to control it.

Drawings from left to right: Biomorphic déjà vu I-III, Lonespace

Friday, March 11, 2011

Speculatio through Drawing

My abstract titled Speculatio through Drawing (working title) has been accepted for UNIDCOM / IADE 6th Intl Conf (Oct 2011, Lisbon), in the category THE Sense of DRAWING, Making Sense through Sensibility (knowing through drawing). Its as though this category was made for me.

My presentation will last 20 minutes, and the abstract developed further; but will probably not be turned into a paper for this conference. It is a good beginning for me at this point in time to merit a slot and forum to present my artistic labor and thoughts, to a wide audience comprising fellow artists, academicians, arts professionals in the visual arts—and of course, designers and illustrators.

Speculatio through Drawing
Drawing allows me to reflect on ideas that lend themselves to deep introspection—a search for possibilities in phenomena that pass across and within my senses—works which are reflections on concerns situated at the intersection and layering of religion, sexuality, and social consciousness. “Layering” is a metaphor for encapsulating fragments and wholes that convey, power, compassion, and the memory of time & culture.

Through drawing, I attempt to achieve organic marks which reveal the underlying emotions of our thoughts and ideas—a receiving. I enter spaces to bring out natures within my being, and comprehend through speculatio--contemplative reflection, which I otherwise would not be privy to.

My drawings are an attempt at wholeness; an orison—towards assigning marks and generating form from the formless, often within extreme abstraction; employing a broad range of media and approaches, some learnt through an ongoing practice in Shodo. Ongoing works fall within the following areas: a book of thirty drawings reflecting on torture; We do not come by our Thoughts, They come to us; to drawing letterforms, as also, other subjects while glimpsing, gleaning and assigning meaning to the works in the manner approached as also through the act of drawing.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Netas, Pitas and Batatas

Consider the excerpt below; look at our Goan political lenduks (turds, contemptible persons), and how various political minds operate. The point here, is to note the certainty that many of our Netas, Pitas and Batatas (leaders, fathers, and potatoes) operate within. Where does it come from--which altar, what monstrance are they staring at, which devata--cool or otherwise:

Jairam (Ramesh) is deeply rooted in Hindu culture. This gifts him with a redeeming sense of ambiguity. (“The difference between me and many of my colleagues in the growth constituency is that I have many doubts. I am not full of certainties. I find many of my colleagues are very certain that their path is the only path.”) He is also a student of Buddhism. Both these spiritual persuasions, in a sense, arm him with the stamina for a difficult situation. Music is his third refuge.
Drawing: For Indra Sinha’s short story Blah Blah Blah in the July 2010 issue of Himal South Asian. The centipede is a Congressman. One scorpion is a BJP stalwart, the other a Communist. Animal is feeding them quail from the Jehan Nabz.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Manuring and Stroking

It is something to see the manner in which people I know consume news--many of whom are in media! Yet, these same people are constantly negotiating interactions on a profoundly crass level — seeing themselves as analytical, yet also stating that they are not the quickest of thinkers, often misunderstanding simple words, terms and interactions; offering up excuses for quality of writing — which they see as inadequate, and worse--those who are in broadcast; having issues with simple social terms (!!!); as also a reticence to stand with, put out, and promulgate work by artists, poets, etc., while also maintaining a lackadaisical take, in any case being aesthetically tepid culture vultures, and cultural arbitrators.

Before we go further — lets be clear that this is about observed phenomena which directly rears uncouthly in front of ones lived aesthetics and ethics. The intent here is to consider and be aware of tribal consciousness and rank opportunism. This is not about tribes as we know -- Indian, Native American, those in South America.

On the other end, there are others who know me, and are ensconced in corporations, holding posts that bring in a lot to their tables and almirahs (or banks). As always genuine power to these beings and their lives.These characters incessantly talk about sharing, opening doors of perception, eyes, someones gray matter to other matters. All this without a whiff of: Hey, lets talk about funding this or that. Basically the idea being: Imagine we are giving you an audience that you can impress (I know you can--and you will get a kick out of it. I tell you this!), and disseminate your gnyan (knowledge). I think: Well is that the way you see it generally or are you carrying an outdated picture in your mind? Is this an offering for the Legion of Mary kids or some impoverished child welfare society.

Which brings us to: Well, are you not going to bite. No. No!? Why not, and I thought you were an artist — interested in community, being egalitarian, one who shared in good spirit. Yet they will not do their homework or show a willingness to learn. I surmise its on account of what they see as worth their while--having given themselves the time to see if this, that and the other in their parlance makes it in the manner they subscribe to notions of success. All this is good, in fact laudable in the way people shape their lives; and worth pointing out too.

As I was asked recently: What good is what I do if I do not share my work, ideas and artistic labor. It caught me unawares — to think how this person could peg me without having any clue of my life and its trajectory. This considering the fact that its in the open that I critique, advice students, and interact with individuals of varying dispositions, interests and skills. But is this another way where a tribal consciousness and rank opportunism – takes issue with talent and focus: when one is simply living ones life. At least get to understand ones path. Would it help such a boor if I rendered some hurt unto it! Would that be a way of them then feeling needed?!

Others--born to the manor take comfort in their opportunistic acumen, and indeed villainy to pronounce on matters of success without quite spelling out what is it that they are willing to offer other than presumably a haze of some legacy. All this regardless of salvaging any ethical principles, and never a concern for who the other is, other than believing that one has absorbed all there is. Middlemen all; crude, and mean ones. The notion of these cultural darwans (doormen) is to shine light upon ones being and endeavors on their terms while hoping that you will consent to take the bulbous contraption along with the accompanying mask with you when your spirit ceases. or should that be the spirit being sized and seized.

And I presume too, that they go to their asylums and stroke their tailbones.
Drawing inspired by Indra Sinha's Animal

Brutality: Take one

More than ever I now accept that the land of my birth and citizenship is one of the most brutal countries I know. It employs a form of brutality which wears one down, no matter which government is in power---pushing the already poor and marginalized towards despair, thanks not merely to people referred to as Babus (petty officials). Proffer a lot, hand a little. This is something one cannot expect of India in this day after over 60 years since independence.

People believe that smiling politicians are like ones grandfathers and its okay to sit on their laps so to speak. They will not pimp you. India simply wears you out. It is a technique used by the brokers, power barons, those new to power. Its a galli (by lanes) mentality refined to suit and manipulate the constitution.

The idea is to exhaust and use everything to make sure one simply give up, or dies in the process--although fasting is something that could land you in jail and get beaten in the process too. Beating is something that the police only know too well--one form by which they certainly please their own masters as also assuage their own sense of administering justice. We talk from both sides if the mouth, all the time espousing this or that Upanishad--talking from above in lilting high floating tones.

We have a tendency to mete out our own justice. Perhpas cause its so hard to expect fairness and of course justice. So snuffing out entire families is something that those who mutter paap (sin) this and paap that, find uplifting--I presume.

1984. Riots in Pataudi. Not a whisper escaped
As the media focusses in Haryana's Hondh-Chillar massacre, Avalok Langer unearths evidence of another anit-Sikh carnage never reported before.

Gurjeet narrates the story of two sisters, Harmeet Kaur, 16, and Karamjeet Kaur, 19. “The mob dragged them out into the street, stripped them, abused them, beat them, urinated on their faces and burnt them alive,” he says. “There was no sense of human dignity, no sense of compassion. What role did these girls have in Mrs Gandhi’s assassination? Were we all responsible? Sardaron ke bachche hai, tho marao (They are children of sardars, so kill them).”
Patriotism is expected--a state of being that is used against those who argue, or have a mind that responds, helps others fight the system--business as usual policies. The biggest mistake we made was to accept and apply to our reality the ways of the Chicago School of Economics. It has helped no one but only those who know how to direct money flows. The fakir rope trick is alive and well--things just disappear into thin air while shayari (verse, couplets, poetry) is recited in ones ears, attar sprinkled, the aroma of starched saris, kurta-pajamas, lungis, sherwanis attacks ones nostrils, and smarmy grins disarm you in a bathetic akhada (wrestling pit).

Drawing: Congeries of Lust

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


What we are today is the result of millenia in process. Nothing happens in huge leaps, but is the result of an ongoing evolution, as also evolutions within evolution. Whether it be a deft flick of a brush, or a mark that enthralls, they as other approaches are backed by credible process, including within the individual. Incredible as it may appear, it is Ekaksana — the one moment when one is in the act of creating--in artistic labor, one goes through a layering of many such moments until the work itself informs ones being that it is complete. Time to move to the next piece or peer into another slice of the multiverse so to speak.

Drawing: Ekaksana