Arrested Affections: Nilanjan Das

31 March - 5 May 2022

You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.

 

-         Pablo Neruda

In his recent series “In search for a comfort zone” Nilanjan Das assumes the role of an urban planner, redefining and rectifying public spaces into aligning them with acceptable standards of morality. His works compel the viewers to re-look their surroundings, and identify the intangible markers of public surveillance hidden in plain sight.

 

Das’s works stem from personal experiences as well as stories of lovers being harassed, not only by agents of law enforcement, but also the public that paramounts normative righteousness. The artist imparts an aesthetic dynamism to these prints by inserting markers of separation, thus transforming their inherent perceptions, consequently also urging us to question our collective consciousness.

 

This series of eight serigraphs documents empty benches in public spaces that often provide recluse to lovers. Uninhabited, these benches welcome the viewer to come rest, while simultaneously confining them in their isolation. Differently, one is reminded of an uncanny resemblance with our post-pandemic measures of social distancing thus adding another layer of subtext to the artist’s process.