Inheritance of Loss

Rotting food,whirring fans,flickering tube-lights — artist Prajakta Potnis’ choice of muse reveals a fascination with waste matter and lapsed time

Written by Sankhayan Ghosh | Published: September 30, 2012 3:46:21 am

Rotting food,whirring fans,flickering tube-lights — artist Prajakta Potnis’ choice of muse reveals a fascination with waste matter and lapsed time

Artist Prajakta Potnis has a penchant for everything unrecorded,neglected,disregarded and unoccupied. In one of her previous works,she looked at rotting food in the refrigerator. In one of her present works,she has an installation made of ceiling fans of different sizes and patterns rotating at different speeds,clockwise and anti-clockwise,alternatively. The latter,a part of an exhibition titled “Time Lapse” that is being held in Mumbai and Kolkata,shows her exploring everyday lapses,with reference to domestic spaces and bureaucratic negligence.

“My attempt is to address social and individual anxieties through the degeneration that happens within everyday — the domestic space as a stage reveals how the inside is affected by the outside and vis-a-vis,and how various imperceptible elements transgress and affect the psyche of an individual,” says 32-year-old Potnis,who holds a post-graduate degree from the JJ School of Art,Mumbai.

The setting of the The Guild in Colaba,Mumbai,bears paintings and photographs but it’s the installations that are startling. Apart from the whirring fans,there is a flickering tube-light that reminds one of the disregarded time lapse that’s lost in between. “All this is part of emoting,or evoking a sense of lethargy or some kind of a stagnating feeling. One comes across a number of ceiling fans,usually within government offices or institutional spaces,” she explains,adding that the laces of cloth attached on the blades “hint at smut or dust that is gathered on old uncleaned or unused fans,in a way to suggest apathy or neglect”.

One of her pieces is of a series of photographs that captures the cities of Mumbai and Kolkata at the same time — or almost. There is a time difference of 1 hour,2 minutes and 9.6000000000017 seconds as per UTC (coordinated time zones) but haven’t been followed since post-Independence,informs Potnis. The series shows both the cities at seemingly the same time,from sunrise to sunset,while trying to develop a ‘lyrical relationship within the lost time’.

“When I was invited to show my works in Kolkata,I was wondering on how to approach a city? How do you conceive works that will make sense in a city that you are finally going to exhibit in? The realisation that the 6 pm that I believe,may not be the real time,almost came as a shock and the sky photographs try to capture this shift in reality,” she says.

For all the latest Chandigarh News, download Indian Express App