Art Walk by Manjot Kaur
in her exhibition Paradoxically Absurd
ਕਲਾ ਯਾਤਰਾ: ਮਨਜੋਤ ਕੌਰ ਦੁਆਰਾ
ਉਸਦੀ ਪ੍ਰਦਰਸ਼ਨੀ ਦੋਹਰੀ ਸੋਚ ਦੌਰਾਨ
29th April 2019
at Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi Gallery
Punjab Kala Bhawan Sector 16 B, Chandigarh 160016
Exhibition dates 22nd to 27th April 2019
Extended to 29th April 2019
11.00 am to 7.00 pm
Multi-disciplinary artist Manjot Kaur’s exhibition ‘Paradoxically Absurd’, addressed socio-cultural anthropological concerns of increasing population and environment through the lens of art and science by employing the tools of absurdity, uncertainty and randomness. Organised by the Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi, the exhibition depicted the dichotomies of life.
Manjot experimented with a wide range of media, including books(drawings), installation, video and sound. The basis of her art practice is to respond to things around her, issues that are relevant to her, and in the process, an attempt to understand the ever-evolving nature of life and how nature and humans adapt to changing, and sometimes, hostile environment, through careful representation of objects and narratives rooted in temporal, ephemeral, and entropy by the means of repetition, contradiction and paradox.
Manjot has used scientific imagery and equipment, text from the novel ‘1984’ by George Orwell, digital images, vegetables, objects and statistics as metaphors, which refer to the logic of absurd, where absurd is not seen as amusing, foolish or stupid, rather becomes the epistemology of perception and understanding to initiate a dialogue on social, cultural and personal issues.
In the work ‘Absent Presence’ she used 108 slides and a microscope to investigate the notion of existence. On display were microscopic slides featuring details of plants, flowers, insects and the human body, as an attempt to generate a feeling of being alive in the time of capitalism and virtual reality.
Drawings ‘P for Pink, Pesticide, Poison,Population’ focus on the social, ethical and environmental implications of the green revolution and the drawing ‘Sustaining Collapse’ drew attention to the black smog that dominates north India due to stubble burning of farmlands with stories of the delicate environmental system threatened by blatant exploitation.
The installation, ‘Constant Motion’ looked at chemical reactions as a metaphor, where precious silver is perceived as human beings and poisonous copper nitrate is the environment in which human beings are living, featuring a single-channel video projection and live interface of a website to address the paradox of the crisis of population growth and the scarcity of resources in India.
Time-based installations invited the viewers to revisit and experience the works evolve-the rotting smell and fungal growth on tomatoes, potatoes sprouting, reminding the perishable nature of human existence breaking the monotony of the never-changing artworks in an exhibition.
MFA in painting from Govt. College of Art, Chandigarh, Manjot is a recipient of several awards. She has been an artist in residence at Unidee, Citadellarte – Fondazione Pistolleto, Biella, Italy, 2018 by Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation, India; Museo Casa Masaccio Centro per l’ArteContemporanea, San Giovanni Valdarno (Italy)with Clark House Initiative, Mumbai; Khoj International Artists’ Association, New Delhi and more.