Mumbai-based artist Biraaj Dodiya to hold debut show, Stone is a Forehead at Experimenter, Kolkata
“Stone is a forehead where dreams grieve, without curving waters and frozen cypresses. Stone is a shoulder on which to bear time, with trees formed of tears and ribbons and planets.” These phrases describe best what 27-year-old artist Biraaj Dodiya will be treating us to in her debut solo, Stone is a Forehead at the Experimenter gallery.
The title of the exhibition is a reference to ‘The Laid Out Body’ - a part of the poem 'Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias' by Federico García Lorca commemorating the death of a friend.
Referring to personal memory, loss and coming of age, the body of work by Biraaj is a kind of lament, reminding one the significance of youth and mortality, discomfort and relief, absence and distance through paintings and sculptures. The works in the exhibition explore stages of material proposition and cancellation. Like an excavation site, they are a result of processes of breakdown and repair, much like the urgent recalling of moments of crisis.
The process of applying paint, scraping it off and slapping it on makes it undecipherable often referring to those moments of life where sequences often get haphazard and blurred by the lapse of time. The artist has intelligently used ramps and beams, which are usually employed to support or oppose weight, in the form of sculptures. She has ingeniously melded the abstract forms with discarded objects and personal relics, which have turned into signposts of the inner world.
"Materials and surfaces seem to communicate with each other allowing exchanges between the found and the made, and simultaneously playing with the perception of weight. These paintings, part funereal abstractions, part nocturnal landscapes, are primarily studies of uncertainty and distance," tells Biraaj, adding that moments of abrasion and resistance are hinged from slivers of light, balancing movement and stasis, form and vision.
Dodiya is interested in metaphors that develop through modes of making, where erasure of meaning becomes a process of negotiating with time. That's why in her works, the stone becomes a forehead, paint becomes revocation, the rubber becomes skin or blood or sweat or a pool of dirty rainwater from many monsoons ago. Lodged between memory and traversing shifting emotions of forfeiture, Stone is a Forehead reveals a nuanced practice, navigating a space between the inner self and trepidation of precarious moments of personal loss.
The exhibition will be on till June 30 at Experimenter