The Waking World: Selected Art by Ranbir Kaleka
Another Subcontinent is proud to launch our new features section with an exhibition of paintings by a major Indian artist (and Another Subcontinent community member): Ranbir Kaleka. This exhibition will be featured on Another Subcontinent till Dec 20, 2004 and will then be archived in the art section of our feature pages (see links at left).
To view this exhibition click on the thumbnails on the right. Each will open a larger image in this center window. To view a fresh set of thumbnails click on the gallery links; to return to this introduction click on "front". Copyright for all images is retained by the artist and these images may not be used, disseminated or displayed without his permission.
About this Exhibition
Viewing many of these pieces one has the impression of being summoned into a world within the frame of the work which seems to be on the verge of moving from a dream state to waking. The point is not that Ranbir's figuration and juxtaposition often have a dream-logic but more importantly that the aesthetic and psychological landscape of his work is not closed--one where the viewer must try to decode the artist's meaning--but open--inviting the viewer into the making of meaning. To put this another way, it is not merely the artist's ideas being presented to us via dream imagery but the work itself seems to be dreaming, and inviting us to dream with it. Thus in pieces such as "Man", "Cock-A-Doodle-Doo" ( in gallery 1), "The Convert" and "Dreaming Hunter" (in gallery 3) the principal bodies seem to also literally beckon to the viewer. In "Women with Lizard" (in gallery 2) the women's faces and bodies curve so that the viewer becomes the third in the circle. (This effect is more directly pronounced in the video installations in gallery 4: the gaze of the viewer is an intrinsic part of the pieces.) It is important to note that the world of these pieces (which includes the viewer) does not remain within the state of dreaming; viewing these pieces we feel that they (and we) are both about to wake up, and that the waking world will be made anew; the waking world is (be)coming and we with it. That is to say the effect of these pieces is not simply instinctive or unconscious, it is simultaneously intellectual.
Finally a word on Ranbir's range: the pieces presented here cover the gamut of media from oils on canvas, watercolors, painting and mixed media on shaped wood and board, digital photographs, to complex video installations. The latter new media work represent the latest phase of the evolution of Ranbir's interests (though mutation may be a better word than evolution in this context)-while it is not possible to convey the impact of these pieces through static images on the web we hope that the images and Ranbir's accompanying descriptions give a good sense of their impact. All the pieces together give us a glimpse not only into Ranbir's oeuvre but also into the dynamic world of contemporary Indian art. We hope this exhibition will spur you to find out more about both and to explore and support the galleries and museums that feature them.
After viewing these galleries we invite you to visit our Visual Arts forum to discuss your own responses to this exhibition. Ranbir will stop by to answer questions and talk about his work. For more information and responses to Ranbir's work see the "Resources" section below.
About Ranbir Kaleka