Navel: One and Many: Anant Joshi

13 March - 14 April 2007

Anant Joshi has often arrived at his drawings and paintings from forms and spaces that he sculpts or constructs. He uses carefully selected toys that he breaks apart, paints over and re-contextualizes (a process of de-construction and then re-construction within his own space and context.) At times he creates mini-dioramas using packing materials like thermocol, crates and boxes. He throws light off of these staged "backdrops", casting shadows and silhouettes, which have on occasion worked to induce ideas for paintings and drawings.

These studio practices often serve as the initial trigger for a concept or a form to emerge, inspiration often being drawn from the changing in social morals that initiate him to co-operate with the demands of these constantly changing diaromas. He addresses issues like mass-scale movement of populations, mediated images of bodies in collective social/political protest actions and cultural/economic processes that tend to mark the quality of human life. Today, with television and print media playing an active role of mediating between the private, the personal and the public experience, these hybrid notions of belonging are zoomed in to the scale of haziness or at times radiating the consciousness to the level of isolating the private to the domain of public spheres.


When Anant Joshi received the two-year scholarship to live and work at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, after having graduated from the J. J. Collage of Art, Mumbai, he used the time and resources available to make spectacular installations. He crafted his own ceramic objects, using both recognizable and unrecognizable shapes, creating forms, casting shadows and reflections with these shapes and objects.


In the current exhibition, Joshi's occupation with creating this "spectacle" continues: the multi-layered/sensory-filled works hope to create experiences that hit at the deep, dark, violence of the mundane acceptance of our individualistic schizophrenic everyday urban lives. In Navel: One and the Many, hybrid creatures, bulbous minaret-like ceramic forms, and the sharp razor-blade screen, come together in a dramatic theatre of public/private protest.

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