Vivan Sundaram | Terraoptics

on Wednesday 10 May, 2017

sepiaEYE, New Yorksolo sho ... Read More

Nilima Sheikh | Documenta 14

on Saturday 08 Apr, 2017

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on Saturday 18 Feb, 2017

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on Saturday 11 Feb, 2017

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Being an essentially urban person, her paintings are grounded in the plethora of images that a city throws up. Her early work in the seventies took a humorous look at everyday life, blurring the boundaries between the sacred and the profane..gods-and-goddesses and screen-idols with interchangeable faces featuring as calendar pictures and pin-ups, gods behind bars in bathroom-tiled temples.

Her attempt has always been, and still continues, to turn the 'found image' into a visual metaphor, and charge it with a new meaning. The city, with its wild juxtaposition of irreconcilables, provides her with the starting-point to delve into the dreams lurking behind the reality, and the desires hidden beneath its teeming layers.

Over the years, the images which seduced her have changed, disappeared, and even resurrected in a transformed state; but always, the grey area between appearance and reality in the human situation, has been central to her work. Some of her references have come from family photographs, newspaper pictures, and film posters; while objects and places were chosen for their associative and resonant quality.

The woman's viewpoint has also been a strong undercurrent in her work (Cymroza 1995, The Secret Garden, 1998), sometimes with gender stereotypes played up ironically (Mythescape, 2000)

For the past decade, the city as 'Dream-World' has been at the core of her work. The city as a dream-destination of the migrant from the village, who gets lured into the web of seemingly limitless opportunity, without seeing its swampy underbelly, is reproduced in her recent video at her solo, Where I live (2009) at Chemould Prescott Road. The other works in this show, on recycled metal sheet, explore a range of players who straddle the two worlds and make life work with the help of a dream.

'Dream-Home' (2003) tapped into 'development' and the selling of dreams ("Buy your dream-home now"). Taxi doors and lighted plastic temples found their way into her creative constructs in 'Tum Kab Aaoge' (2005), which used the taxi-driver as a metaphor of the migrant.

Her work grapples with the blurred line between dream and nightmare.