Art Basel 2020: Online

17 - 26 June 2020 
Online Viewing Room
Public days: June 19 - 26, 2020
VIP Preview: June 17 - 19, 2020

To access the Online Viewing Rooms, create an Art Basel Profile here
Chemould Prescott Road brings together a group of 6 of our leading contemporary artists. Jitish Kallat, Shilpa Gupta, N S Harsha, Desmond Lazaro, Rashid Rana and Anju Dodiya. When I looked at the booth-plan post March while we have been locked-down since the last 80 days, we altered some of our choices for Art Basel online viewing room. There was a new kind of urgency, or perhaps an altered sense of urgency, or should we say, the urgency had vanished! Time began to have a new meaning.
Reflecting upon these peculiar urgencies of the present moment, wherein the ideas of body contact and border crossing, as well as the notions of mobility and time, have acquired unforeseen dimensions of meaning in "Circadian Rhyme-4" (2012-13) by Jitish Kallat. The work inevitably evokes border checks, surveillance and paranoia. But as the artist points out, it originally emerged out of a meditation on peculiar moments within the routine flow of life when shifting borders suddenly emerge between bodies.
But then work "1:2138", by Shilpa Gupta where a rolled-up sari has its own history and memory: it crossed the border unnoticed. In Bangladesh, the precious Sari, the “Jamdani”, made of cotton, takes a lot of time to make and is highly prized in India, so it gets smuggled…. Yet movement in NS Harsha’s work, "Ascent or Descent to Reality", the ladder is generally used as a tool to ascend, allowing us to move upward and have access to something beyond our reach. In this regard, ascent can be perceived as the absolute truth or ideal, as the gold leaf implies, whilst descent may represent our real life and physical reality, which has yet to reach the absolute truth. In this work, however, the ladder is fixed horizontally, resulting in a questioning and obscuring of hierarchical order between upward and downward! However, Desmond Lazaro in his new series of Cosmos paintings, was particularly interested in how early star maps represented the heavens as a series of concentric circles, each circle being a planetary orbit. 
With Rashid Rana's work, "A Landscape to Landscape - lll" (The Other Self), he uses a random image of a landscape which is flipped horizontally creating an illusion with its own displaced part. In this work Rashid examines how time manifests itself in a two-dimensional image.
And finally Anju Dodiya series of photo paintings, "Other Echoes Inhabit the Garden", brings together a chain of sublime pauses, depicting the inevitable passage of time and as a commemoration of the mundane. Each stain wants to pull the viewer into an abstract narrative meditating on mortality. The vulnerable self is juxtaposed against overpowering reminders of its fragile nature.
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