Critical Mass: Contemporary Art from India
Tel Aviv Museum of Art
Opening: May 31st, 2012
Guest curators: Tami Katz-Freiman and Rotem Ruff
Critical Mass at Tel Aviv Museum of Art is the first major show that will expose the Israeli public to the thriving contemporary Indian art scene. The exhibition includes seventeen artists, both established, well-known artists and several young, emerging artists. The show will take place at the newly built and highly celebrated Herta and Paul Amir building.
The works included in this exhibition are anchored in the tumultuous social and political reality, and their multiple layers of meaning reflect different responses to the deep transformations that have been taking place in Indian society over the past two decades.
The notion of matter and material serves as a principle metaphor for the physical and visual experiences of the contemporary dynamic life in Indian megalopolis. One of the salient characteristics of the works included in this exhibition is the repetition, multiplicity and duplication of images or motifs that are densely arrayed together. This state of multiplicity echoes the visual texture and chaotic expanses of the Indian megalopolis. This overwhelming experience of density, ornamentation, noise, flow, and rich materiality is clearly reflected in the themes, materials, and visual aesthetics of the works featured in this exhibition.
The works featured in this exhibition were created in a wide range of mediums including photography, painting, video, sculpture, and installation. They share a number of central thematic concerns: a dynamic tension between tradition and modernity; accelerated urbanization and development processes and their impact on the environment; a critique of consumer culture and globalization; religious tensions and political conflicts; and gender-related issues. Some of the works tend to consciously deconstruct stereotypes and clichés related to national, regional, gender, or class identity. The preoccupation with these themes addresses, in different ways, the sociopolitical, economic, and technological transformations that have taken place in the subcontinent over the past two decades, and reflects cultural concerns born in the context of a particular time and place.
An exhibition of Indian art in Israel holds special interest in a local context, due to the range of affinities between the two countries and due to the growing interest of Israelis in India and in Indian culture. The preoccupation with conflicted identity and multifaceted social and political reality is similarly shared by both cultural fields and seems to serve as a significant catalyst for artistic production.
The exhibition is accompanied by a Hebrew-English catalog which includes, in addition to the curatorial statement, essays that deal with Indian culture and will cover the major socio-political changes taking place in the sub-continent.
Participating artists: Ravi Agarwal, Atul Bhalla, Sakshi Gupta, Shilpa Gupta, Subodh Gupta, Ranbir Kaleka, Rashmi Kaleka, Jitish Kallat, Bharti Kher, Riyas Komu, Raqs Media Collective, T.V. Santhosh, Gigi Scaria, Shanthamani M., Sudarshan Shetty, L.N. Tallur, Lochan Upadhyay.
For more information and interviews, contact:
Ms. Sara Sofer, Special Projects, Tel Aviv Museum of Art - Tel:+972 2 6231036;