Art News & Views

Deccan Odyssey

“Discussion does not necessarily lead to something concrete but a work of art stays in time and answers questions and its being there leads to solutions” B2Fays

B2Fays is from France, the creator of “Universe Palimpsest” a Global multimedia project. She has no institutionalised training but a life at work for 25 years. The works showcased in the exhibition happened during the residency at the Kalahita Art Foundation from January 26 to March 21, 2009.

Combining elements of culture, romance, history, fantasy and reality.

It all begins where conscious reasoning ends and the artist is free not to speak of the many stories that permeate the image and only choose to say what she wants to say. The image runs, grows in those who see it, as they add their own reflections to it and give it new meaning.

B2Fays brings together painting, photography and digital projection on materials of her choice. In India she has chosen to work with cotton fabric, used for making parcels and traditional drapes with local stamp signatures, as image souvenirs, that lead her to position her images in terms of physical layers and emotional responsiveness to instances. She works in separate spaces simultaneously, an illuminated space, where she paints spontaneously without any image reference and another space that is dark wherein she projects her own photography, to add layers to her works.

Pictures are taken in sequence, they capture movement and change. This happens without a prior preconditioning, her response is instinctive. The artist later observes the photographs and contemplates with a precision of an investigator. She deciphers the body language and identifies subtle changes.

In both the “Digital Palimpsest” hosted in Hyderabad, the “Universe Palimpsest” in Mumbai and her paintings in Cochin and Hyderabad, B2fays conjuncts stillness and movement. There are emotional intentions to contemplate, select and adapt to a different culture. She intercedes her painting with audio visual projections, the projection sequentially induces movement and adds a distinct layer.

B2Fays approaches a particular work with a certain happening, an encounter with people or with photographs she has taken, to move within the city, and take a closer look at its culture. The work also becomes an area where she is able to recall and abstract experiences of the past and reconcile or raise questions. In her process one painting leads to another as she works on many pieces simultaneously.

There is an active dialogue between the material, colour, her deliberation in laying paint on to the surface and the candid attitude of lines giving form to a stream of unconscious thoughts. The drawing in pencil is essentially the prolongation of another layer as the line drawings add to the same subject but not necessarily speak of the same vision, they are all disparate.

It is important for her that the planning and realization is visible through all the layers till the last layer. The material in its original state is a connection with reality but this information is graphic. At one level her preparation to create takes over and at the other point the interaction is at work.

Her unconventional use of washing off of the material allows images to vanish or partially disappear, while other forms emerge. She then feels like a child at play, free from purpose but not free from responsibility.

There is also a dialogue between her and the image. In the image of the child drawing herself, her expression divulged her inference that all women are imprisoned, no matter where they are, the image is expressive of reaching out through the act of creation. Visualizing an inspiration is a way to find one's own potential. Finally there is the possibility of transformation, defining the purpose of painting.

The characters in the images are living. They look back, showing the viewer what is happening, changing its state of oneness into something else that is emerging from it. There are opposites that emit experiences of the contrary involution of other characters. Although the painting appears to be inert, it is in a constant process of becoming. It emerges and dissolves. No one thing, remains imperative any more.

She actively conveys a notion, that time lapses, repeats, changes speed, or stops altogether at a moment in time, and that all the events in some sense happen simultaneously. Her image making crosses genres of instinctive drawings, graphitti, realism, expressionism, and multimedia and attempts to unite two cultures, in real time through creative means.

In her works transportation is the icon itself, it is a message. The cotton material, used for making parcels is a signifier of carriage. The question that ensues is what is the artist carrying in her works? While the artist herself explores her quest for connection, bewildered by the sight of people moving, weaving a network of connection by working, talking, using their bodies to lift and to carry. She asks herself “who is transporting what? and where to?” Although language is a barrier, she understands their gestures, their way of life. She becomes conscious that people are bound to connect, since they are in a situation where they have to move from one place to another. This connection that she sees between people here, attracts her.

The image is dramatic in the layering of static historic identifications and representations of public life. The digital projection induces movement and the process itself is an image in its incongruity and intention to 'make a way into'.

Koeli Mukherjee Ghose 
Curator and Art Historian 


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