In Memory Of – Post Show Report
Girls – Overall I have come out of this show with some good feedback and a clear direction about where I want to head over the next 2 months. Suresh Jayaram is going to mentor my process of creating a cohesive narrative of the 18 odd books that I have. The plan is to tell the story of my life and experiences through poems and drawings, but this time will a little more structure so that it all doesn’t appear fragmentary to the viewer. At the end of this 2 month exercise I should have 1 book that is the amalgamation of the 18 that I can go and push out to publishing houses…
The show comprised of:
>> 16 original sketch books + 16 Artist Prints of each
>> A large wall painting (15ft x 12ft)
>> A time-elapse documentation of the painting process projected on the opp wall
>> An installation of hand-drawn frames that spanned one wall (25ft x 20ft) with my video art projected onto it.
I sold 1 book print and 4 drawing prints. I guess I was just super lucky and they were priced right. The book prints were each for Rs. 10,000 and the drawings were Rs 1000 for the small ones and Rs. 1500 for the larger ones.
The wall painting experiment came together really well. I realised that scaling was not a problem for me. I think the problem really was with working with colour (something that I haven’t really faced before). Here is the write up that I had about the show. Martha came and reviewed it too!
SITE SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE PAINTING:
NOTE: A photo was taken every 10 secs for this 8 hour performance.
This exhibition explores impermanence and memory. It is in the simple gestures of a moving, shifting impermanence that the beauty and truth of spontaneity erupts.
Through this show, I reveal the inner thought and process of creating my work. I present drawings, poetry and video art as remembered reproductions of experiences felt long ago, inspired by everyday moments. I look at my work as spontaneous and poetic attempts to capture these experiences, and choose to show them as they are – without the imposition of formal structure and construction.
The drawings are not illustrations of what is written. Rather, both drawing and writing are used in an attempt to capture a thought or memory that is triggered by the present. The smell of jasmine as I pass by a flower vendor may remind me of a moment with my grandmother 15 years ago. In that moment, the force of memory is immense. These illusive thoughts, transitory and in the moment, like a fragrance, are recollected as diary notations of images and text.
It is the present that links to the past, and thus the objects and experiences that inspire memory – the flowers, the vendor – are also important. They are the catalyst that recreate that one moment with the sun streaming down on my childhood. Like thought, my works flitter between the then and the now fluidly.
This process of reference, remembering and memory in the moment is what I try to capture through this show. On display are 15 of my personal diaries – representing the visual poetry and written drawings over the last 4 years – alongside the site-specific installations and video-art.
This show is dedicated to my grandmother – Smt. Ammani Iyengar.
Art Review by Martha in the Deccan Herald
“In Memory Of,” Archana Prasad’s exhibition at 1 Shanthi Road Studio/Gallery (January 16 to 18), revolved round the artist’s childhood and youth moods, oscillating from warm recollections about her grandmother, family and friends to an honest, personal focus. Suitably, it was threaded of diary books and pages of drawings, notes and poems in an installation or environment-space accompanied by a video.
One appreciated Archana’s patient dedication, effortless perseverance, her grace and sometimes courageous openness. The trouble came, however, with her rather literal approach. The visibly skilled, lightly executed sketches were meant to interact with the words, but actually came through illustration-like because of their very stylised and self-limited form that derived from a cultured, popular here book and comic convention. Sporadically, the artist ventured into more interesting areas, adding an expressive realistic touch or giving in to the immediate intimacy of rough sketches.
The use of sheets with drawings hung installation-wise on twisted wires was too simplistic to translate beyond the obvious. If one liked the backdrop of stencilled floral motifs, the video projection on it had similar imperfections. One would want to caution the artist about adopting formulae and self-indulgency.