Egged on by stories
Ronni Ahmmed in Venice
Bangladeshi painter, sculptor and installation artist Ronni Ahmmed makes his debut in the international art scene at OPEN, where one of his large-scale installations has been staged alongside other contemporary artists including the Brit art sensation Marc Quinn. While a contingent of new media and installation artists showed for the first time at Venice Biennale in the Bangladeshi pavilion, Ronni's entry into the 14th edition of OPEN, an International Exhibition of sculptures and installations in Lido and Island of San Servolo, Venice, signals a new beginning for Bangladeshi artists who stand against the grain.
Conceived and curated by Paolo De Grandis, co-curated by Carlotta Scarpa, organized by Arte Communications, in collaboration with the Department of Culture of the Venice City Council, the exhibition under the nomenclature 'OPEN' is held under the patronage of the Italian Ministry of the Cultural Heritage, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Veneto Region, the Province of Venice and Venice City Council. As OPEN is a site that 'creates synergies and collaborations such as those with international curators', Smdani Art Foundation, a newly established organization based in Dhaka, as part of their first international venture, involved Ronni in a project that used 1251 painted eggs in drinking glasses. The work titled 'Tomb of Qara Koez', though draws its thematic from Salman Rushdie's ninth novel 'Enchantress of Florence', builds on a small-scale sculpture the artist produced in 2002. That small piece was made to go through a dramatic transformation to extend its reach to accommodate the idea of the Majaar, or Sufi shrine, the 'subcontinental signifier' whose translation Ebadur Rahman, the curator who coupled with the artist to give the work its conceptual premise, unsatisfactorily produces as 'tomb'. And this particular tomb echoes the pyramidal structure 'to illuminate something else altogether,' writes Ebadur in the accompanying narrative furnished on the brochure.
OPEN 14, where works of more than thirty international artists were included, for the first time, saw an entry from a Bangladeshi artist through the curatorial administering of Ebadur Rahman, the artistic director of Samdani. The exhibition that ran the course of a month, January 9th to February 10th, 2011, attempted a phenomenal transmission of a multivocal discourse where Ronni staged his object of literary, artistic as well as mythic dimension from the intersection of the Eastern imagination and Western operational logic.
- DEPART DESK