New Delhi: Renu Modi, Director, Gallery Espace presents a solo show titled Impotent Rage by Paris-based artist Akshay Raj Singh Rathoreat Gallery Espace, 16, Community Centre, New Friends Colony, New Delhi, from March 21, 2015 till April 20, 2015, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Phone @ 26326267. The exhibitionincludes mixed media installations.
Says Rathore, who did his BFA in Applied Arts from Baroda University before studying Animation Film Design from NID, “I grew up in an atmosphere dominated by upper caste politics and witnessed the deterioration of rural social structure, primarily a result of the failure in implementing land reforms post liberalization. Also, many other influences made me aware of the forces and issues at stake within contemporary societies traversed by complex evolutions.”
One such experience was interacting with the Bundelkhandi domestic help when Rathore shifted to Delhi from Mumbai after working as an animator with Famous Studios. “I could see how these people had been exploited in their villages, uprooted to find work in Delhi where their conditions had deteriorated further,” says Rathore, who has also worked with OSIANS as creative head from 2006 till 2007. However, he considers being part of a Khoj International Artists’ Association workshop in 2009, titled Soil Bite, in Patna that explored the relationship between nature and human beings as the starting point of his art career and the Khoj Negotiating Routes Grant in 2012 to initiate a rural awareness campaign about organic farming in Madhya Pradesh as the turning point.
Earlier in 2010, Rathore had attended the Sandarbh Residency in Partapur in Rajasthan, where his performative work, asking people to leave their footprints on a disputed street being claimed by two religious communities, once again questioned land ownership and its ramifications. His next residency in El Salavador in 2011, where he witnessed a struggle once again over “fertile land”, reinforced questions about freedom and power.
“This is a not a single-themed show. It delves into the hidden angst in rural India, which is invisible, even impotent. It also is about the unabashed celebration of masculinity as seen through power structures and their violent patterns. It’s about commercialization and its impact,” says Rathore, now based in Paris.
Result of researches in different fields such as history, anthropology, mass media communication, agrarian studies, and political sciences, the works explore contemporary societal complexities through dialectics - developed/primitive, organic/inorganic, democratic/undemocratic, simplicity/complexity - to culminate into a much larger wandering around the future of our civilization and its fertile capacity to overcome the present impotent rage it is caught in.