Art News & Views

Census of Senses: Investigating/Re-Producing Senses?


by  Mansi Dhiman

New Delhi: What has been termed as the senses are the leaders of human's action and reactions. What we see, hear, smell, touch or perceive is a fore player in the act that leads us to some sense of confirmation, sense of reasoning and questioning. For most of us, who thought that the change in the understanding of sense is changing within a regime of our social, political and cultural arena- Census of Sense is a chilling wakeup call.

Census of Senses is a curated show by Veeranganakumari Solanki at Exhibit 320, Lado Sarai, New Delhi. The show exhibits works by seven well known artists including Bose Krishnamachari, Nandan Ghiya, Princess Pea, Soazic Guézennec, Sumakshi Singh, Sunoj D. and Vivan Sundaram. The show has created a new platform, thoughts and ideas for the six senses we are known to into innovative forms and installation by these artist. Although working on/under the connotations of sound, touch, sight, taste, smell and think, the six senses, they have exhibited their experiences in par excellence within their peripheries, and in their own iconic styles.

The viewer encounters with the visual jugglery in the exhibition which starts with the woven web of photographs by ten different artists, a programme proposed by Vivan Sundram. The cluster of photographs gave a sense of being together but they were arranged together like a still life. Then it leads us to an enlarged ant-house built with different material, plates, and space, gallery, by Sunoj D titled Untitled. His work began with his perception of hunger or greed, which questions about the choices between these. The whole process of collecting these plates and artist's conversation with different people of his social circle maneuver his visual, which is related to different social, political, geographical and economic connotations.

Nandan Ghiya's work titled The New Keeping in Touch creates an illusion, illusion of being/ staying in touch. He has created a though of isolation as well as unification and awareness through urbanization, through the visual of some pixilated old photographs evoke to be uploaded. It creates irony and satire to the new way to keep in touch. On the other side Vivan's work titled Yamuna: Flotage on the River and Yamuna: River Garden talks about another issue of globalization across the globe, over water and land. The visual generates a false impression of delight surface of pink colour but in actual they are plastic bottles fastened together.

Soazic Guézennec's works titled Anthropological Box, Mountain and Oxygen Tree seems like her research on future and our survival. These works shows a deep ecological sensibility, a concern about the future, which she expresses through her paintings, videos, installations, and the tension between nature and urbanisation. Sumakshi's work, Animated Suspension: Halfway Here, is an illusion woven on her perception about certain reality. The stop motion animation questions about permanence and transience object and image, fact and illusion, mapping and displacement, perception and knowledge, permanent and unchanging. Princess Pea's work, Princess Pea_Nayika Srinagar, Princess Pea_8'o clock and Princess Pea _Breakfast, talks about Princess Pea, the artist alter ego in the form of a 'living doll' an anime style figure that can neither talk, smell nor see. She explores aspects of our sensory world through the eyes of her loving agent and loyal friend her Labrador dog.

Bose's work, Ghost/Transmemoir, is an installation with narratives on LCD screen fitted in the dabbas (lunchboxes), reveals a portrait of a city in instability. The multitude of different faces and narration creates a collage that can be seen as a metaphor for the social tapestry of the city and talks about the contemporary urban life in Bombay.

The artists in this exhibition created a census of sociological, political and ecological, a factor whose outcome is a result in senses and questions to challenges viewer's perception, questions viewer's vision. The works in this exhibition formulate the spectator to become entirely conscious of their reactions and create an awareness of each of their six senses and their interdependency.

Census of Senses is a creative endeavour, aesthetic exploration, and visual dialogue. It's an attempt to discover, encourage and changes the thoughts. It questions to the real and unreal, pleasant and unpleasant of sociological, political and ecological arena as well as to globalization.

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