STANGENESS: CURATED BY RANJIT HOSKOTE
Artworks by Baiju Parthan, Bose Krishnamachari, Krishen Khanna, Krishnaraj Chonat, Rajeev Lochan, Riyas Komu, Sunil Gawde, Theodore Mariano Mesquita, Tina Bopiah, T. V. Santosh and Viraj Naik
Anant Art Gallery, 2006 (January)
Catalogue essay: Ranjit Hoskote
By strangeness, I refer to the cognitions of otherness, hybridity, alienation or dissent that are set apart from normal experience, as challenges or counter- definitions. These conditions show the assumptions of our normal life into question: they challenge our default positions concerning self, identity, belonging and direction. Strangeness is an index of difference, of distance. Individuals and groups have always used it to define themselves through the antagonistic relationship of Self vs. Other. We see this logic at work in the Sanskrit direction between sva and pra: and in Greek distinction between autos and xenos.
The present exhibition is based on the awareness that the theme of strangeness has fascinated many significant practitioners of contemporary Indian art, across the conventional lines of generation and idiom. They have explored in various registers, including the portraiture of unfamiliar or dissent beings, the topography of alternative states of being or personhood, and the evocation of quixotic objects or procedures.
(excerpt from catalogue essay ‘Mapping Strangeness’ by Ranjit Hoskote)