By Pranita Kulkarni
Delhi-based Pariabartana Mohanty’s video Miniaturist shows a grey-walled studio where he talks about colour. “Pink or Red? Pink-ish Red?”, he asks. There are red-tinted images of American physicist J Robert Oppenheimer, known to be the father of the atomic bomb. He recites shlokas from the Gita to justify the violence after the nuclear holocaust.
Mohanty is one of the five artists at Khoj Studios, who have taken science beyond a laboratory through the exhibition “Undivided Mind– II”. This is the second edition of the Art and Science Residency hosted by Khoj Studios. It is an attempt at merging science and arts by creating a laboratory where sound, video, text, drawing, biology, physics and chemistry co-exist.
In the first edition, the artists had converted the studio into a mini-spaceship. The other artists include Jaden Hastings from the US; Lalinthorn Phencharoen from Thailand; and Shreyasi Kar and Bidisha Das from Bangalore.
Hastings, who has multiple degrees in science and a degree in fine arts has experimented with her own blood mixed with pigments and metallic oxides. She says, “This is to show that protein cells are unique to each one of us, almost like a metaphor of our life cycle. Projected on Giclee prints, they look like abstract art imagery.” She has also produced a video showing the movement of blood cells to self-composed music being played.
At Lalinthorn’s studio “Lalinlab”, she explores the responses of the brain — the rational and the irrational and the objective and the subjective. While one admires her abstract pencil-sketches, it’s a bit unnerving to know they are microscopic diagrams of the structure of mucus and spit. She enjoys the look of surprise on your face and says, “You can find beauty in what might initially look disgusting.”
Kar and Das have made an eclectic laboratory with several mini-labs inside it — a bio lab, an electronics lab, a sound lab, a photo lab — using plants as the basis of experimentation. “We are exploring the relationship between man and nature and watching how plants react to an environment. Our work is inspired by JC Bose, who worked with plants,” says Das.
The exhibition is at Khoj, S-17, Khirki Extension till April 14.
The writer is a student of EXIMS