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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

That Sinking Feeling

The exhibition has brought together 50 works by nine artists such as Chandan Gomes and Vicky Roy.

Written by Pallavi Chattopadhyay |
November 13, 2013 2:52:56 am

Ahmedabad-based photographer Deepak John Mathew captures Rishikesh bathed in the soft mist of early morning. As the blue tint of the river fades into the sky around him,a man emerges from the water after a ritual dip. This image — from a series called “Doob Gaye Hum…Duba Diya Humne”— is on display at Art Konsult as part of an exhibition titled “Merging/Submerging”. The other images in the series on display show the Lakshman Jhula (a bridge that is a famous Rishikesh landmark),against a similar blue-tinted background,a silent river,temples and houses.

“I named my work after a visit to the construction site of the Tehri dam in 2010,where one of the villagers,employed there,jokingly said,‘We build the dam and we are the ones who get submerged,’” says 42-year-old Mathew,adding,“My work deals with the idea of submerging and the way we use and abuse the river. After the Uttarakhand disaster,many said that human beings were responsible for it. In a subtle way,I wanted to say that the way we treat nature decides how nature treats us.”

The exhibition has brought together 50 works by nine artists such as Chandan Gomes and Vicky Roy,who have worked on the idea of merging and submerging. “The idea came to me when the Uttarakhand landslide took place this year and the whole existing landscape vanished. A new devastated land emerged,” says Johny M L,curator of the exhibition. “We did not ask the participating artists to make new set of works for this show specially. We chose these images from their collections,” he adds.

Another series of photographs,“Decorated Soldiers” by Gireesh GV includes photographs of statues of leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose that are common on Indian streets and monuments. One image is of a former Andhra Pradesh chief minister’s statue dumped on a roadside with its face covered. “We build these figures and then hardly give them respect. I have compared this to the situation of aged parents,who are neglected by their children,” says the 43-year-old Gireesh.

The exhibition is on at Art Konsult till December 5.

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