[Reader-list] conference call

SUMESH SHARMA sumeshrbt at gmail.com
Wed Sep 4 18:35:30 CDT 2013


Nikhil Raunak
Someday is Today

Opens: Thursday, 5 September 2013, 4pm-10pm
Exhibition continues till 7 October 2013.
Open all days including Sundays, 11am-7pm
Location: Clark House, Colaba, Bombay

*Caption: Nikhil Raunak, 'Do you think you can tell?', etching and
watercolour on paper (unique), 2013.*

Nikhil Raunak's visually intuitive process of working is deeply attentive
to a large inheritance of visual ideas, text and language that leap beyond
the confines of his location in place and time - and yet speak with
disillusioning honesty about his own time. Precisely chosen, these
inheritances and intuited similies are played with, adjusted into careful
jokes, and subversions - in the work above, the vaudeville-comic's *
blackface* mouth painted over the acid-bite of the etching, and the satirical
substitution of a Chinese panda (whose Latin name translates as ‘black and
white cat-foot’) for the black cat in Manet’s Olympia - make each work a
small revolution, a small fire. Like the art works, the sentences -
murmurs from
a love song, a phrase from a letter by Van Gogh, data from a caste
statistical chart - are played with, combined, ironised, till the language
lives, till it gains a pulse.

In Bombay, Olympia is an old Irani restaurant on a parallel street from
Clark House. It has been a constant. One wonders why it was named Olympia -
perhaps after the ancient Greek sanctuary that once hosted the Olympic
games. When one asks the present owners about the history they are
uncertain of the origin of the name. The original Irani owners sold the
restaurant to them decades ago and the present owners are Gujarati Chiliya
Muslims. The Chiliya community is well known in the restaurant business,
and are trusted for their quality of food. In Gujarat, they run many
vegetarian eateries that have distinctly Hindu names, to prevent customers
from discriminating against their religion in a polarised Gujarat.  Despite
them masking their identity they faced a major brunt of the communal riots
that Gujarat faced in 2002.  Olympia subsidises the lives of many taxi
drivers, the blue collared and the back-pack tourists who dot the lanes
around Colaba.

Nikhil Raunak has decided to reconstruct Edouard Manet's 'Olympia' as a
single edition etching, which acts as a sanctuary to his thoughts on his
practice as an artist. Edouard Manet had shocked Paris in 1865 with his
reclining nude 'Olympia' for she was thought to be provocative and he was
supposed to have painted a prostitute refusing flowers from a client while
she gazes out of the canvas. This image had been earlier painted as Venus
by Titian, Cezanne and Goya. But Manet's act was considered vulgar, as the
painting was to liberate the woman as she seized power over her own
destiny. But there was a certain story of the commencement of a subjugation
of certain people, that African maid represented.  Even the black cat in
the original painting was castigated as the symbol of a prostitute. The
maid was ignored she was only seen as someone serving her mistress. For in
the following few years France was to join other European nations in
a scramble for Africa, an imperialist policy that sought political control
to subjugate an entire continent. Nikhil Raunak erases the maid in his
etching and replaces her by a black man, and the cat is replaced by a
panda, an Asian mammal,  seen as a creature that is both black and white.
Ironically it also represents China - a nation presently engaged in a
scramble for Africa's resources, as India watches on jealously.

A graduate in portraiture and printmaking, Nikhil commented on his
relationship with his father through etchings that depicted the portrait of
Mao, or discussed his own relevance in Art History by sticking origami
boats onto his etchings referencing Van Gogh, and including circles using
coloured intaglio to critique Damien Hirst. His tryst with 'Olympia' makes
many accusations on history, art and India.

*Nikhil Raunak (b. 1988) *completed his graduation and masters in painting
and printmaking from Sir JJ School of Art, Bombay in 2013, combining
various mediums, and continuously challenging the boundaries between
printmaking, sculpture, installation, painting, video and performative

He initially stepped out of the 2-dimensional expectations of a painting or
print, by using elements of origami. Later, he turned his prints into
free-standing sculptures with the help of wax molds. He has rendered
portraiture theatrical by building symbolically on situations in art
history and biography - a theme that runs through much of his college
writing, which has been consistently outstanding.

Select group exhibitions in 2012-13 include, ‘Arranging chairs for Ai
Weiwei’ 2012, ‘Shunya’ 2012, ‘I C U JEST’ at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale
2012, ‘L’exigence de la saudade’ at Kadist Art Foundation Paris 2013, and
the ‘IInd Transnational Pavillion’ at the 55th Venice Biennale 2013. Nikhil
Raunak has been associated with Clark House Initiative since its inception
and together with other artists founded the Shunya Collective in 2011. This
is his first solo exhibition.

Nikhil Raunak lives and works in Bombay.

- text Zasha Colah

*Clark House Initiative* is a curatorial collaborative and a union of
artists based in Bombay.

location and directions: c/o RBT Group, Ground Floor, Clark House, 8
Nathalal Parekh Marg (Old Wodehouse Road), Bombay 400039. Opposite Sahakari
Bhandar and Regal Cinema, next to Woodside Inn.
*+919820213816*  info at clarkhouseinitiative.org


On Wed, Sep 4, 2013 at 1:47 PM, Uddipana Goswami <uddipana at gmail.com> wrote:

> UGC Sponsored International Seminar:
> Does Literature Matter?
> Dates: 4th & 5th December, 2013
> Venue: Conference Hall, University of North Bengal
> Relevant areas (but not limited to):
> How can we read Literature today?
> State of Humanities and its Impact on Literary Studies
> Contemporary Critical theory and Reading of Literature today
> Teaching Literature Today
> The Status of Literature as against other disciplines in the Humanities
> Terror, Violence and Religion & our doing of Literature
> Changing aesthetic of ‘everyday’ and our thinking of Literature
> Does Literature have a future? How can it matter in our changing times?
> Key note Speakers:
> Prof. Sam Wineburg (Stanford University)
> Prof. Ethan Kleinberg (Wesleyan University)
> Prof. Bernadette Baker (Wisconsin University)
> An abstract of around 300 words may be sent to this address within 30th of
> September:nonhistorian at rediffmail.com
> Papers presenters will be informed about the status of their submission by
> the first week of October.
> Seminar Cordinators:
> Dr. Chandan Ashish Laha
> Ranjan Ghosh
> Department of English
> University of North Bengal
> India
> Uddipana Goswami
> Editor, *Northeast Review <http://northeastreview.com/>
> *http://uddipana.com/*
> *
> _________________________________________
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Sumesh Sharma,

125, Samudra Mahal

Dr. Annie Beasant Road, Worli,

Mumbai - Pin Code: 400018


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sumeshwar.sharma at gmail.com

Mobile: 00919820213816
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