ARTSOME Exhibition

"Figures of Speech Using the Written Word in Contemporary Art" opens on April 18 at Four Seasons Hotel

Featuring: N Ramachandran, Brinda Miller, BhanvnaSonawane, Rajesh Patil and Dhasan

Painting and poetry should be like two just and friendly neighbours, neither of whom indeed is allowed to take unseemly liberties in the heart of the other's domain, but who exercise mutual forbearance on the borders, and effect a peaceful settlement for all the petty encroachments which circumstance may compel either to make in haste on the rights of the other.

"Word and image" has become something of a hot topic in contemporary art history, largely because of what are often seen as invasions of the visual arts by literary theory.

The relation between words and images is an extraordinarily ancient problem in the study of the arts and in theories of rhetoric, communication, and human subjectivity. In the arts, the comparison of poetry and painting, literature and visual art has been a consistent theme since antiquity in both Eastern and Western aesthetics.

Contemporary culture has made the interplay of word and image even more volatile, intricate, and pervasive.

What is it about the construction of the human mind that makes the interplay of words and images seem, despite innumerable historical and regional variations, to be something like a cultural universal?

They are foundational cultural narratives that turn the categories of word and image into something like characters in a drama that is subject to infinite variation, historical transformation, and geographical dislocation. It is stories like these that make the relations of word and image something more than a merely technical matter of distinguishing different kinds of signs and associate them with deeply felt values, interests, and systems of power.

"Word and image," like the concepts of race, gender, and class in the study of culture, designates multiple regions of social and semiotic difference that we can live neither with nor without, but must continually reinvent and renegotiate.

Alternating between fact and fiction, the public and the private, the universal and the particular, the text sometimes offers an incisive semantic portrait of our times. The images can be read as all things simultaneously and yet resist any one reading when viewers see more possibilities unfold.

Some of the most well-known artists using the written word in their work or including an aspect of it are Cy Twombly, Robert Rauchenberg, Jasper Johns Ed Rusha Bruce Nauman Joseph Beuys and later Jean Michel Basquiat, Ugo Rondinone and Jenny Holzer to name a few.

"Love", the famous sculpture spelt out in letters by Larry Rivers became one of the most iconic works in this genre.

Artists were sometimes inspired by literature, at other times the need to emphasise the play of words and further in artists notebooks to pen their mindscapes as another expression.

In "Figures of Speech...Using the Written Word in Contemporary Art" Apparao Galleries aims to explores this intriguing trend in modern art through the works of N Ramachandran, Bhavana Sonawane, Brinda Miller, Rajesh Patil and Dhasan.

"Figures of Speech...Using the Written Word in Contemporary Art" can be viewed at The Four Seasons from mid-April to late June.

Venue: Four Seasons Hotel
Address:114, Dr E. Moses Road, Worli, Mumbai 400018


April 2014