Exhibition explores political ‘darkness’ through Narayana Guru’s philosophy

New Delhi, Oct 16 : For Kerala-born filmmaker-artist K.M. Madhusudhanan, the interplay between personal and political, local and global, and light and shade form the fulcrum of his ongoing exhibition "Granite Lamp and Mirror" here, the title of which derives from the 19th century social reformer Narayana Gurus philosophical texts.

Running at the Vadehra Art Gallery till October 25, the show has utilised the idiom of the granite block, lamp and mirror -- all installed by the anti-caste Kerala guru into temples as a rejection of upper caste principles.

Through the medium of ink and charcoal works, oil paintings and sculptures, the widely-exhibited artist has engaged with the "questions of image-making and identity, refracted through the lens of politics", the gallery said in a statement.

Why these idioms of granite, lamp and mirror?

Giving a medium to what represents darkness for him -- a state of the world dotted with colonial-era incarcerations, present-day casteism attached to historical reality, and the curtailing of the freedom of speech -- Madhusudhanan's works find root in history.

Narayana Guru's installation of the mirror took place in a temple in Kerala's Alappuzha, Madhusudhanan's birthplace.

According to the gallery, with this exhibition, the artist's new works initiate a series of hundred works in conversation with, and mirroring, Narayana Guru's philosophical text 'Atmopadesa Satakam' or 'One Hundred Verses on Self-Instruction'.

Deeply inspired by contemporary politics, his art takes viewers through cinematic representations, contemporary global wars, cross-cultural issues including refugee crises, and the rise and fall of Communist regimes throughout the world.

The exhibition will conclude on October 25.



Source: IANS