Madras Muse’ exhibition titled Experimentative Novelties showcases the art of deconstruction
This multi-nuanced exhibition by five artists is deeply rooted in enquiry with visual narratives that meet the socio-political, cultural, and ecological realities of today
Madras Muse, a Chennai-based artistic collective actively involved in creating experimental art, is showcasing Experimentative Novelties, a group exhibition organised and hosted by Alliance Française of Madras, that includes interesting and thought provoking works by artists Bhagwan Shankar Chavan, M Natesh, Hans Kaushik, Samuel Jaychandran, and Vijayaraghavan S. The goal of each artist’s internal creative dialogue, which aims to produce a visual dialogue about the society we live in, is to approach the subject in a unique way. “We firmly believe in our ability to captivate various paradigm shifts in the experimental artistic methodology and promote social cohesion,” says Vijayaraghavan, curator of this exhibition, and also an artist.
Each artist of this dynamic group believes that making experimental art is crucial in expanding the parameters of artistic expression and challenging conventional norms and values. Experimental art, by definition, is meant to explore novel concepts and methods, as well as to elicit discussion. Cultural norms and values may also be impacted by today’s experimental art. The evolution of new forms of expression and thought may have an impact on future generations by constructively presenting opposing ideas and viewpoints for the audience.
“We are witnessing how developing a surrealist attitude and honing the art of deconstruction are essential to furthering the study of creative dialogue in the use of analogue and digital mixed-media art making. Deconstructing and reconstructing our creative process is a practice that can help us push past established, predetermined ideas and ways of thinking to discover fresh, creative possibilities,” Vijayaraghavan adds.
As a result, there is now a wider diversity in the art world, with a wider range of perspectives and experiences being celebrated and valued. The artworks of Bhagwan, Natesh, Hans, Samuel and Vijayraghavan feature a nuanced visual process of conversation with the socio-political milieu we live in and with their art making process.
Of creative imagination
Natesh’s digital montage is primarily connected with ‘Exquisite Corpse’, a surreal spontaneity creative game popularised early in the 20th century. However, Natesh experimented with the digital montage in Photoshop concealed by himself and built inner dialogues with a combination of satire, humour, boldness, and playfulness in the visual components, showcasing unexpected juxtapositions and connections in the coherence of artworks. He expresses global socio-political and ecological awareness and captures its multi-nuanced complex images, showcasing unexpected and imaginative combinations of images and text. “The combinations of Damien Hirst’s The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living with Rodin’s The Thinker Statue; Michelangelo’s creation of Adam in cowboy style, along with the thought bubbles representing Muammar Gaddafi on one side and Andrew Berwick, a Norwegian far-right domestic terrorist on the other; or another bold combination of Adolf Hitler pulling a globe through a Jewish spine bone — they are all powerful images that meet with today’s urgent realities,” Natesh tells us.
A play with form & colour
Hans Kaushik’s work explores the interconnectedness of symbols that exist in space and in three dimensions. His conversation is at once informed by the fusion of theatricality, space, performance and design. “The abstractions that ensue pull meanings into the realm of both the abstract and the mundane. In the work of the deconstructed mask, the process of deconstruction finds itself becoming the external manifestation of an inner searching, the change from the solid object becoming reduced to an ephemeral memory space,” Hans says, adding, “The video installation The Horla, an adaptive reading based on Guy De Maupassant’s story of The Horla brings in the combination of video, the solid, or the static sculptural objects that play with form and colour, coming together in one space to tell a story.”
Bhagwan’s kinetic mixed media art has captured surreal style and brought out abstract and realistic expressions of healing nature and restoring balance in the face of growing industrialisation. It has a function that operates by rotating between two opposing sides with contrasting colour palettes to build a conflicted state of mind in the self. “One listens to the superior’s development of industrialisation and the inner voice against depleting the natural surroundings. I express the agony of ecological issues and the importance of tolerance to protect the natural surroundings in my artwork,” says the artist.
Jayachandran’s street photography expresses the spontaneous and quick capture of a moment of people’s expression, state of mind, violation of the skin, uncertainty of their lives, and transgender identity. It frequently entails capturing a snapshot photograph with much thoughtful, careful composition and is intended to express the rawness and immediacy of a moment, offering a candid and uncensored look into ordinary life. “My works are unapologetically combative, intensely rhythmic, and meditative in their aesthetic expression, cultivating discriminating formal aesthetic qualities, emphasising the multiplicity of cultures, and celebrating the triumph of compassionate melancholic experience,” he says.
A vision to protest
Vijayaraghavan’s work has evolved as a result of our ecological agony, industrialisation, and urbanisation, which have deformed our routine. The content of the body of his artwork explores the ever-evolving human condition, delving into ecological constructs and systems and examining how they impact our human behaviour and way of being. “I tried to exploit the potential of socio-political, personal, and emotional expressions raised over self-ideology and consciousness. In the single-channel stop-motion animation video titled Procession, I try to explore the essence of the vision to protest against corruption. The flickering eye expresses the tension of the current socio-political scenario in a democratic country. Significantly, I used the stop-motion technique, which I captured and multiplied in my own hand motions and the hand gestures of marching activity and how it develops and expresses itself in the medium of art,” the artist tells us.
Free entry | July 17 to August 1. 10 am to 7 pm. | Gallery ESPACE, Alliance Francaise of Madras