[imagebrowser id=93] “My work narrates the life of a disordered (or hyper ordered) society, with all the clashes and tensions that contemporary life brings. People build walls around themselves to create order and borders. I am interested in showing what happens when we negotiate with so-called realities created by us through our visual vocabulary.: – Vibha Galhotra
Walking into Vibha Galhotra’s first solo exhibition in New York at Jack Shainman Gallery last March 22nd, I pondered on her words above as a camouflaged wall and soldier figures in the same pattern confronted me. The visual and the material come together to further illustrate the artist’s exposition about how the topographical changes in her native country, India, affect the environment and what society perceives about globalization – which adversely creates isolation.
Progress in this day and age is inevitable in third world countries trying to keep up with rich countries can be a double-edged sword. Some see it as a step to a better future while in other cases it is an intruder that eradicates the past. Galhotra uses intricately sewn metal ghungroos (tiny bells) traditionally used in Indian embellishments which becomes the outer skin of several pieces. This creates a malleable shell for her to make the biomorphic forms. In one of the hulking sculptures which she termed as the “dead monster” that alludes to the large construction cranes found all over India building up skyscrapers to change the landscape. The common sight has become an adversary for society to question all the destruction that comes with such development. The eyesore that penetrates the airy skies of India needs to be slain.
The entryway wall with the scene of shantytowns and terrain of what is mostly found in India will soon be a memory as it will be razed to the ground in the name of urban development. The menacing line of soldiers modeled after Indian military uniforms mimic the same pattern of the wall makes a camouflage that suggests when will the militant approach come to a head as more people feel displaced and disenfranchised with this ongoing trend not only in India but the world in general. These visual cues serve as a jumping board to articulate the dystopian result of so called globalization.
In this sense, Galhotra lets us face the music of the hollowed out drum. Do we go forward to expand or ironically isolate ourselves further in effect for change?
Vibha Galhothra: Utopia of Difference / March 22 – April 21, 2012
Gallery Schedule: Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm
Jack Shainman Gallery – 513 West 20th Street. New York, NY 10011
article by: Oscar A. Laluyan