Explore the existential truth of life at Mattanchery-based Gallery 27's ongoing art exhibition
Walking into this space in Mattancherry, which exhibits works of ten renowned artists from across the country, one is urged to look inward and question him/herself. Titled Everybody is the other, no one is himself—inspired by the thoughts of German existentialist philosopher Martin Heidegger—this two-week-long exhibition doesn’t offer a curatorial note for its visitors. “These works are all about projection. Just like how we present ourselves when we’re in love. All you do or pretend to do is to impress the other, and in relation to the other,” explains Manoj Nair, the curator of the show.
Mentored by the likes of Bose Krishnamachari, the journalist-turned-art aficionado elaborates that the German concept of dasein forms the common framework here. Put forward by Heidegger, the idea speaks of a person’s authentic self—that’s concerned with one’s quest for the true meaning of existence—as opposed to the consciousness that’s preoccupied with the banalities of everyday life. Exhibits at the event, ranging from surreal images of a detailed nalukettu suspended in a starry sky (by Madhu Venugopal) to the multi-media work showcasing a decaying human bone steeped in mud (by Jigesh Kumar K), takes us through multiple phases of life at once. Featuring over fifteen artworks, the exhibition also includes paintings and installations by Bara Bhaskaran, Blodsow V, Gireesh GV, Poushali Das, Pradeep L Das, Sabin Mudappathi, Siji Krishnan and Pradeep P Padmanabhan.
From pastels and oil paint on jute cloth to rice paper-based canvases, this particular show presents an interesting spectrum of mediums for the city’s art lovers. Kochi-based Siji Krishnan is one of the artists arguing for and working towards experimentation and going beyond the boundaries of the canvas. “My work featuring the mother figure surrounded by treated rice paper flakes and seeds is a part of my experiments with various mediums over the last ten years. Both the elements of seed and the figure of pregnant woman connotes the beginning of life,” says the artist. It took Siji over two months to complete the piece titled Mother—with the seeds she collected from her travels over the last three years. Sabin Mudappathi’s 167-inch long work (Staedtler pencil on tea wash paper) titled Who Knows Who They Are, depicting a ship full of nude figures is another noteworthy exhibit from the group.
As Gallery 27 finally wakes up from its year-long slumber since its launch last February, co-founders Geetha S and Sathya Sai assure Kochiites that they have a series of experimental shows planned for the coming months. “We’re also exploring the possibility of adding a movie screening space here,” says the couple.
Till April 10. At Paul Panjira Road, Mattancherry.