Engage/disengage to initiate sensory ruptures
Farzana and Palash's overlapping geographies
Farzana Rahman Bobby and Palash Baran Biswas are printmakers attached to their respective ecologies built around aesthetic variables of their own choices, those that they repeatedly arrive at through the application of their respective monochromatic model. With a shared tendency to effectuate distancing from the objects they choose to respond to, these two young artists carefully calibrate their lenses to art and reality with the hope of eliciting sensuous response from those who may engage in viewing or experiencing.
Both have their eyes set on details, which for them translate into an array of technically arrived at marks, shapes and surface quality – aesthetic variables which set the basis for the emerging pictorial design of most of their imagery. If visual cues to the object remain traceable in Palash, in Frazana, they transcend objectivity in order for her to provide a holistic yet a temperamental map of nature.
Palash studies human forms often set within an architectural environment; and he does so with an eye for the abstract qualities discernable in the given ambiance. Exemplified by his series entitled Pathetic Memory, one is made aware of it by observing the atmosphere he creates to address human existence and its attendant anxiety which, in his nuanced interpretation, remains stilled or frozen in time. The way the chiaroscuro conduces to a method of picture-making where a gradual withdrawal from the 'visible' is enacted with a certain degree of subtlety, seems to set the stage for an abstract interpretation of the visible. Demonstrative of delicate interplay between light and shade brought to bear upon his seated figures captured in their mundane postures, darkened and disinterested, his works, in the final analysis, are also an attempt at transcending the given variables. The work entitled Face, which captures a profile of a melancholic damsel, amply demonstrates this.
Farzana, whose imagery is inclined to abstraction from the ground up, approaches nature to harness its spirit rather than express fidelity to the visible cues – thus her ecosystem is devoid of easily recognizable forms. Re-plantation, the series she continues to go back to, bespeaks her intention to externalize the essence of nature as the created imagery seems to echo natural forms and firmament rather than reproduce any particular, recognizable aspect of nature.
Putting these two artists under one roof to see whether a dialogue is possible between the separate ecologies – one focused on the human space and the other on natural environment – seems like a logical extension of the negotiations that continue throughout history between built environment and nature. This exhibition entitled Deliberate/Random privileges an interesting coupling – not because the two artists are represented by two different methods of printmaking, Farzana employing etching and Palash resorting primarily to wood-cut, but because they seem connected to one another by way of shared melancholic temperament expressed in atmospheric imagery. One may take a guess at the reason why the curators, Wakilur Rahman and Kehkasha Sabah, conceived of this duet; both artists seem to bask in the glory of accomplished aestheticized imagery which values ambiance over contour.
Palash uses his tools in order to withdraw from reality while he considers human figure as his starting point; Farzana, the etcher, remains faithful to the sacredness of the bond between humans and nature, remaining anchored in the idea of transcendence throughout.
In the ambitiously large composite print Re-plantation-20, Farzana enacts her collusion with nature by unfurling a panoramic view composed of several promontories of shapes.
The work with its thrust towards a harmonious coexistence of fragments seeks to address nature in its 'multisensual', non-observable 'whole'.
Both printmakers are young, and together they unspool two affinitive languages of expression where senses play a central role.
As artists they resort to tactile, auditory and visual senses to accomplish 'objects exploration' and bring simultaneously into view 'space perception'. Through their respective languages they mediate, in various sequences, secluded built environments (Palash) and macroscopic nature set against imaginary spaces (Farzana).
If contour and surface quality are the two important thresholds both of the artists have traversed, Farzana has made use of them to chart the spatial matrices which are reminiscent of nature.
Therefore her linguistic frame is untainted by mental disquietude, but is undoubtedly coloured by a feeling of solitude.As Farzana continues to map the geographies of human affinity with nature and Palash disinterestedly churns out imagery addressed to the human condition, both rely on the possibility of sensory ruptures.
Additionally, Palash displays a taste for the nocturnal – his dimly-lit interior paradoxically refuses to bring the representative human forms into sharp focus. Humans, in his realm, remain shrouded in a pall of darkness to mediate on their worldly engagements in an unworldly manner.
If Farzana's language can be interpreted as a confirmation of the existence of a universal geography through which our rootedness is also invoked, Palash's attests to the betrayal of the body or existence conditioned by day-to-day modern living. He places his subjects amidst an environment that impacts our reading gaze, while his humans appear to have silently accepted their fate.
To round it off one must comment on their aesthetic achievements in the light of today's art praxes – both artists harbour a bias towards processes employed to efface the 'obvious' and the 'objective' to emphatically bring into view the subjective condition vis-à-vis reality and nature. Emile Zola once defined art as a 'piece of nature seen through a temperament,' one may hope that these two artists will be able to employ such distillation with the purpose of continuously breathing new life into their set models in future.
Deliberate/Random ran its course at Kala Kendra from October 13 to November 8, 2015.
Image courtesy: Kala Kendra