Nothing Will Ever Be the Same Again

Nothing Will Ever Be the Same Again

Note on the show Nothing Will Ever Be the Same Again

The words work as a lament, for what has been lost – or as the hope for a better future. We see both these perspectives, and many shades of gray, in this 13-artist group show. Some artists have painted from personal experiences. Others have addressed larger issues of social, environmental and political significance.

In what circumstance do you find yourself saying Nothing Will Ever Be the Same Again?

This exhibition encompasses works in mediums such as paintings on canvas, works on paper, photography and video. The artists were invited to participate keeping in mind their varied concerns and approaches to express them. For instance the works of Kim Kyoungae and Sonatina Mendes have a contemplative slant encompassing their personal experiences. Shruti Nelson’s works are an attempt to understand the phenomenon of transition in time, sameness and change. Malavika Rajnarayan makes an attempt to evoke the essence of a new beginning through her paintings.

Artists Ravikumar Kashi and Prasanta Sahu raise questions about the way information regarding events of historical nature is recorded and what happens in the process of its dissemination. In ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ Kashi contends that by the time the news reaches people it gets filtered and wonders about the consequences of repeated viewings of these news clips. Sahu’s ‘Mock Practice’ comments on the herd mentality of humanity that passively receives what is handed to them. Subodh Kerkar’s beach installations also take on social-political leanings as he finds that after November 2008 the romanticised notion of Mumbai’s seafront has changed. Now it reminds of the terror that came via the sea.

Development and its consequences on environment, customs and practices of years are the central concerns for Gayatri Gamuz, Shantamani Muddaiah and Malavika Mandal Andrew. Gayatri mockingly summarises contemporary practices by showing wild animals in oversized bows. She comments on today’s plastic culture which she feels encourages hypocrisy. Shantamani uses charcoal as a metaphor in her video and photographs to bring out irony visible in today’s times. The video conveys that the speed of development is detrimental to the environment. And the photographs document an age-old custom of walking on burning charcoal which is slowly diminishing. Malavika makes a case for nature against the endless demands of mankind through her mixed media works. In her works nature’s elements and manmade structure are at loggerhead.

Binu Bhaskar uses the metaphor of water and raindrop in his photographs to a soothing end. Containing the transparent purity of white, rain falls and leaves its indelible yet subtle mark, reminding us that everything contains the possibility of a fresh, new start.

- Jasmine Shah Varma

Statements by artists about the works for this exhibition:

Simrin Mehra Agarwal
“Cross Sections of Antiquity” – An Imaginary Museum of Ruins and Relics
Cross-Sections of “heritage buildings”, pillars, ancient sculptures and objects are all clubbed together in random order, without any hierarchy and placed out of their original historic context. The work brings out the geometry, structure and grandeur of ancient structures which were once appreciated but have now become pieces of “junk”—they are in ruins. By this tabular arrangement the work itself becomes an imaginary museum of things that will never be the same again encouraging the spectator to make links between the different materials and forms to stimulate an appreciation of antiquity.
Multiple lines, horizontal, vertical and diagonal bring out the movement and detailing of the structures.
Elements of abstract design, fluid patterns, and organic forms, archaeological and iconographic symbols create a hidden meaning which is left for the spectator to decipher. Presence of mythological characters adds a certain feeling of eeriness to the entire environment stressing on the absence of human life. It resembles a scene during a curfew or after a terrorist attack. Different styles of architecture have been juxtaposed together creating a new hybrid form blurring the original context (space and time) of isolation and questioning “Where has this happened?”
“Nothing will ever be the same again” everything comes to an end and decays over time but memories remain. Forever.
“I work, watching, examining, exploring, searching, meticulously scrutinizing and de-constructing every detail, looking deep into various layers for hidden meaning. Through both imagination and intellect, I make new discoveries and innovations bringing together a new unique vision. Travelling, exploring new places not only adds newer elements to my work but also helps to make it more diverse.

Sonatina Mendes
Though largely figurative, my works have spaces within them that employ an understanding of how to convey meaning through modules that are more abstractly evocative. My world of images often trigger from secific points of observation, which then cartwheels to wider zones of meaning. Through simple methods, my intention is to lead the viewer to an area in which the labyrinth of interpretation keeps increasing.

Binu Bhaskar

Raindrops are connected to my memories. These photographs have been shot in Kerala, a tribute to the place that has been a part of my psyche and the memories of childhood, adolescence and youth are attached to it. The raindrops in any part of the world, are like deepseated threads of memories, seep into earth. Years ago, I remember sitting in a chair in the open, watching the rain and how the colours renewed and changed.

Ever present and always flowing, water is a symbol of transformation. It is both energy and silent witness to all processes of change and renewal. Cleansing, embracing each and every surface, all moods and states. The arrival and end of rain marks seasons, crops and life. Containing the transparent purity of white, rain falls and leaves its indelible yet subtle mark, reminding us that everything contains the possibility of a fresh, new start.

Gayatri Gamuz

Decorated Reality
On placing a disproportionately sized ribbon on a wild animal I exaggerate the intention of dominating the natural. I identify with the portrayed oppressed object, but while I am the defenseless decorated animal I am also the one who put the ribbon on it. In the interaction with the natural world we are the manipulators and the manipulated victims of our domination. The superficial beautification is a metaphor of the profound artificialities which we adopt as tools of survival in a world which demands a decorated reality in order to handle the vulnerable existence of the lost paradise.

Ravikumar Kashi

Six degrees of separation (video)
I downloaded the image of Kasab from the internet from the 26/11 incident and screened it on TV with the help of a DVD player. I photographed the image on TV and played that on TV again. I re-photographed this image and played it on TV once more. This process was repeated several times and in each stage the definition of the image gradually distorted. So much so that the final image appeared to be completely de-linked from the ‘original image’. In fact, the image I began with was already twice removed from its source: first stage was security camera capturing his movement, and the second was when this image was spread through the press and internet.
Through this exercise I have attemted to raise a few issues and questions.
How we get our news from media and how media projects its version of the story, with its own tinges/ colours/emphasis.
How the ‘original’ gets distorted.
How do we respond to such distortions?
How does repeated showing of a small clip affect the viewer?

The second work in this exhibition is a set of four books that revolve around the phrase ‘nothing will ever be the same again’. I have given space to three different reactions which occur in the aftermath of a major event like 26/11. ‘Forget’, ‘Remember’, ‘Renew’.
Forget - because one wants to put behind the tragic incident and the pain associated with it, erase it from the memory.
Remember – because in spite of all the efforts it keeps cropping up and keeps on churning in the mind. Also we remember to take certain steps so that such incidents don’t recur. Renew – because life goes on and finds its flow. This also hints at the cyclical pattern of destruction and renewal inherent in nature and embedded in us. 

These books are more open ended unlike my earlier books which were filled with images and text like a diary. They hint at the possible movement of mind and invite the viewer to fill the rest of the space with his/her own thoughts and feelings.

Prasanta Sahu

My current series of work could be viewed as re-constructions of events. Events, the way they happen and the truth behind them, are vastly different from the way the populace receives it. Politics, bureaucracy and media play a major hand in manipulating reality towards their own ends. The role of the general public is to witness these from within their comfort zone. In this work, I have tried to discover the animal/brutal qualities in the human being. The kneeling humans can be read as a herd of animals.

Malavika Rajnarayan

My paintings are derived from an autobiographical beginning, where the images are constructed from memory, and then are elaborated upon to create a formation of personalized myths. I also use the device of employing the territory of fables to act as metaphors for a reality that I inhabit; creating stories within stories to allude and evoke. I delight in aspects that celebrate the feminine spirit, and use pattern and embellishment as an articulation that is rooted within the traditions of a feminine sensibility.

Travel has always fed me with new experiences that rejuvenate my imagination with visuals and a database of references. The miniature traditions from all over the world, and their impact on contemporary art, excites me immensely and I see my work deriving its lineage from these traditions. Drawing has been an integral part of my pictorial language and I use it as a device to define contours and conjoin spaces. I see my paintings to be like epic tapestries where episodes can be viewed independently, yet finally come together to create a completion of a narrative intention.

‘Awakening’ and ‘A New Dawn’ are both paintings that speak of hope and new beginnings in the context of the exhibition “Nothing Will Ever Be The Same Again”

Shanthamani Muddaiah

Fluxed Roots has a video of a man running in a carbonized computer installed in the middle of charcoal. It is about how our beliefs are changing in our day-to-day existence.  Technology has convinced us that the future is in adopting and modifying our lives to the inevitable virtual world. Our dependency on the earth’s environment to sustain our basic needs is somehow overlooked with the promise that technology is sure to find solutions.

The speed with which we are changing the world around us is not only making life difficult it is also carbonizing the environment probably to an irreversible stage. It makes one wonder will anything be the same again. The second part of the work comprising a series of photographs shows people running over burning charcoal (carbonized fire bed), with a different belief and goal. They are doing this with the wish to understand and become part of the natural element. And these practices have a history of thousands of years and have never changed. Here I just wanted to juxtapose the extreme sides of the same argument, and how these extremities exist in this part of the world.

Malavika Mandal Andrew

I derive inspiration from life, which for me means the five “great” or “gross” elements – ether/space, air, fire, water and earth. And along with this “We – the human beings” are also important element because otherwise all the five elements would be worthless. All are interlinked and depend on each other. Human beings have unlimited materialistic desire and are fighting with each other on personal, social, political, religious issues and creating new boundaries. While doing this we are ignoring our life i.e. nature. We do not realise without life what use the materialistic assets be of? Are these borders able to control the dis-balanced condition of the five elements. We are changing and stitching the nature as per our convenience and extracting everything from it for fulfilling our desire. We don’t know what we are in transit of what? Or are we turning a blind eye to the reality?

Today the need to save our life i.e. our nature - towers above all our social, political, personal needs. All our treasures and assets can be put to no use if the coming generation do not have the privilege of enjoying life which is deteriorating day by day. Or have we taken it for granted that they are destined to enjoy the remains of what ever little is left for them.

Pradeep Mishra

“Lovetolive” a being’s willingness to live and share joy of living with fellow beings.

Shruti Nelson

Capturing the essence of movement and transition of time has been central to my work. The gait of wild animals, the flight of birds, the way motorbikes and cars move reflect the pace of life and continuity. Mirror is an element I use in my works from time to time to capture the changing and moving image. We look in the mirror everyday but each image is new. A mirror is constant yet reflects the changing image. In a way everything is the same yet changing.

Subodh Kerkar

The sea has been my muse, master and medium in my artistic practice.  I have preferred seashores for creating my installations. My socio-political concerns also find a voice in these works. It was a coincidence that the Mumbai terror attack emerged from the ocean. The attacks on Mumbai have left a deep wound on the psyche of the nation and especially for those who lost their dear ones. The scar of this wound can never be erased. The attacks have raised questions about the security in this country vis-à-vis her relationship with Pakistan. Hindu-Muslim relationship in India has always been a complex issue. A lot of blood has flown at the altars of fanaticism during and after the trauma of partition. We need to re-examine the issue as individuals and as a nation so that the plural fabric of the country is reaffirmed.  A nation making great strides on global frontiers cannot afford to nurture the lice of communalism.

The terrorists visited the shores of Mumbai in an inflatable dinghy.  My canoe filled with red liquid represents the boat of death. The heads emerging from the ocean speak of the terror attack or are they just ghosts of dark memories of 26/11?

The sea brought in the terrorists on the shores of Mumbai. Let us believe that all communities will come together to churn the ocean to bring out the amrit of harmony and peace.

Kim Kyoungae

These paintings are part of a body of work that I am working on over last two years. I visited my hometown in South Korea in 2008 after a gap of five years. During that gap several things changed and many new things came up. Sadly there are certain issues that have not been resolved and the problems persist. In the two works showing here I have tried to address the things for which I had a personal attachment but have changed as that is inevitable. In the other work I express hope that even though some things are no long the same they will remain in my memory for good.

Statemenst as told to Jasmine Shah Varma