Between the Self and Silhouettes by Soma Das and Anjan Modak, Curated by Adip Dutta
8th April - 4th June, 2022
The self extends itself on to others. A simultaneous acknowledgement of the passerby and recognition of the shadow of one’s self falling on the other constitute the connection. The works of Soma Das and Anjan Modak centre around a sense of empathy that accounts for a search of the self under the pretext of watching numerous others situated around the artist. The relentlessness of recording figures in action, not only indicates the circumstances of the subjects, but also that of the artists who take both the role of an insider and an outsider in looking at them. Thus the figures are marked with a sense of attachment and detachment at the same time. The physical distance from the figure being quietly observed with the probing eye of a researcher becomes evident from the subject’s comfortable body language. But it is that meticulously constructed single moment in the life of the figure in action, that emotionally connects the artist, especially Soma Das, with the one being watched.
Anjan, on the other hand weaves the sequences of a latent drama wherein his protagonists perform roles in a poignant visual language. Soma and Anjan, both respond to the site and situation that they share with their protagonists, often as ethnographer-artists, exploring designs of the relationship between people and social conditions. The two artists by virtue of being emotionally connected share the same domestic space which is marked not only by daily chores, but also by several constraints. This space transforms into a site of artistic production, a metaphor of an overlap between the mundane and the celebratory. The process begins with almost compulsive acts of documenting moments that after a point of time begin to transform the banal into the significant. The layout of the exhibition is an attempt to track those passages wherein the artists tread through enumerable silhouettes, looking for the remarkable self.