Siji Krishnan Recent Works 2012 | Paintings | Art Media

Recent  works  by  Siji  Krishnan     0+0=0  (My  Father’s  Mathematics)         In  the  age  of  photography,  and  instant  image  making

 technologies,  how  does  one   chronicle  the  ‘self’  to  report  the  passage  of  time,  the  loss  of  people  or  the   retrieval  of  ‘new’  things?  What  could  be  the  possible  mechanisms  of  ‘recording’   reflecting  upon  the  self  that  is  scoured,  somewhat  exhausted,  and  often   melancholic  amongst  the  travails  of  memories  of  past  and  present?  And  how   does  one  show  this  passage  of  time  itself,  its  effects  and  its  consequence?  Or  is  it   the  act  of  ‘accounting’  itself,  the  taking  charge  of  the  ‘self’  that  is  replete  with   these  questions  and  discoveries?    How  does  the  ‘technique’,  the  immaterial   ‘sleight  of  hand’  lend  itself  to  recognize  and  frame  this  ‘self’?  These  questions,   however  trivial  or  impertinent  they  may  sound,  help  us  to  address  not  just  the   broader  category  of  ‘Painting’  today,  but  also  to  enter  the  works  of  Siji  Krishnan.     Adopting  the  Surface     At  an  experiential  state,  Krishnan’s  paintings  are  rich  with  the  texture  of  the   surface  that  she  meticulously  prepares  with  smooth  over  layering  of  fine  rice   paper  on  canvas.  The  paper  lends  an  organic  quality  to  the  painting  that  is   reminiscent  of  the  brittle  quality  of  dry  leaves,  and  the  tautness  of  stretched  hide   on  a  mrudangam.  The  surface  lends  a  sensation  of  sound  that  seems  to  emanate   unknowingly  from  dark  empty  rooms  or  from  still  water  bodies.    This  surface  is   then  layered  with  gentle  tones  of  pale  watercolors.  Slowly,  as  the  image  assumes   intensity,  darker  layers  are  added  and  sometimes  scrubbed  in,  to  create   undulations  on  paper,  almost  like  wrinkled  skin.  The  surface  arrests  the  dark   interiority  of  incubatory  spaces.  This  process  of  modeling  with  paint  is  so  frail,   that  it  all  blends  and  seals  into  one  single  surface  of  cloth  paper,  almost  as  a   membrane  reverberating  with  a  lot  that  has  been  firmly  secured  in  it.   This  near  sculptural  surface  is  juxtaposed  with  another  flimsy  layer,  that  of   approximate  projections.  Recording  sensations  of  body  and  its  memory,  painting,   for  Krishnan,  is  a  simultaneous  act  of  recovering  experiences  from  the  past  and   chronicling  sensations  in  the  present.  She  neatly  blends  the  figural  and  the   gestural  on  the  paper,  the  surface  resonating  a  thin  film  of  inferences,  like  a  very   fragile  projection  of  dreams  under  our  eyes,  while  we  sleep.     She  visualizes  this  interiority  as  an  abstract  space  of  reflection,  concentration,   transformations  and  discoveries.  Perhaps  it  is  the  painter’s  studio  that  becomes   an  insulated  cocoon  for  undertaking  mental  voyages.    And  the  painted  surface,   the  painting,  becomes  the  device  that  helps  in  activating  the  zone.       Memory,  Reasoning  and  Painting     ‘Lullaby’  is  a  series  of  frames,  with  images  of  a  father  playing  with  an  infant   daughter  on  a  bed.  These  delicate  images  evoke  the  vulnerability  of  all  forms  that   exist  in  the  deepest  layers  of  our  experiential  memory.    The  act  of  painting   becomes  a  process  of  drawing  out  (extracting)  forms  from  a  watery  pool  of   collective  sensations.    Musings  of  lived  moments  of  childhood,  again  and  again,  

 its  semblance  for  the  viewer   delves  on  the  faded.  as  viewers.  tenderly  fondling.  The   quality  of  drawing  only  provides  a  mere  fleeting  sign  instead  of  representing  any   photographic  real.   the  repetition  of  characters  within  each  frame.   The  series  seems  disjointed  and  displaced  frames  as  from  a  cinematic  reel.  The  father.  obscure  appearance  of  very  old  personal  photographs  that   have  been  subjected  to  severe  weathering.  whose   beginning  and  end  has  little  implication.       Security  as  Metaphor       The  protagonist  is  a  father  with  bare  chest.   appears  as  a  maternal  figure.  This  drama  further   unfolds  with  the  metaphors  that  are  cast  within  these  images.     The  playful  child  appears  sometimes  quirky  and  naughty.  not  singular.  is  a  cathartic  process.   The  painted  image  becomes  a  residue  of  this  gruesome  mental  exercise.  who  stands  far  from  the  field  of  enduring  this  mental  exercise.    The  remainder  of  the  image  in  such  cases  becomes  a  game  of  signs.  becomes  a  part  of  larger  series  of  stills.         Image  and  Perception     Where  painting  for  Krishnan.  If  the  masculine  humorous  attribute  could  merge  with  the   feminine.  but   are  articulations  of  various  mental  accumulations  over  a  sustained  period  of   time.  clad  in  a  white  Kerala  mundu  clothing   his  legs  and  lower  torso.     We.  and   repetition  becomes  a  vocabulary  of  that  language  of  excavation.  the  body  and  its   .    Every  attempt  at   framing  the  lived  moment  exhibits  the  insecurity  and  dissatisfaction  of  the   painter.     Thus.     The  different  positions  and  gestures  of  one  single  moment  animate  those   retrieved  moments  and  lend  them  an  organic  playful  quality.  melancholic  one.       Yet.  a   narrative  of  a  finely  capsulated  story  of  an  absent  time.  The  stills  produce  real  moments.  sometimes  calm.  the  face  of  it  would  be  an  androgynous  portrait  of  the   father  that  confronts  us  in  the  Lullaby.  To   construe  the  image  is  to  mentally  resurrect  the  contents  from  lingering  traces  of   the  forms  within  our  minds.  their   identities  are  generic.  A  photograph  is  a  mute  reminder  of  a   time  or  moment  when  the  photograph  was  taken.  search  for  similar  forms  hidden  in  our  experiential  memory.are  projected  physically  on  the  rumbling  surface.  evoking   a  grandmother’s  lap  draped  in  worn  pale  muslin.  or  when  that  moment  was   lived.  The  child  is  self-­‐absorbed  and  a  glow  of  contentment  is  visible  on  her   face.  about  arriving  at  those  exacting  emotional  instances  of  the  experience.  the  signified  person  or  thing  at  the  most  suggests  and  then  leaves  us.  mute   and  asleep.  The  forms.  the  people  inhabiting  these  frames  are  types.  for  a  viewer.  The  act  of  drawing  out   becomes  an  act  of  drawing  and  spilling  these  sensations  on  the  surface  of  the   work.  Even  where  the  painter  has  rendered  the  child  ‘faceless’.  almost  matronly.  Its   trace  fuels  and  retrieves  that  which  has  been  forgotten.    Translucent  white  paint  becomes  a  fabric  here.  whisking  and  encircling  the   small  infant  girl.  as  ‘stills’  similar  in  structure  but   yet  different  in  its  gestures.  The   repetitive  stances  in  the  frames  are  not  part  of  any  single  sequence  in  time.  The  painter  is  engaged  with  excavations  from  the  depths  of  the  mind.

 These  quiet  portrayals  reveal  the  dilemma  inherent  in  the  modern   painter.  onto  the  figural  attributes  of  the  protagonists.  a  cacophony  of  entangled  threads  (strokes).  It  is  a  spiders’  web.  a   supple  doll.    The  net  hangs  in  drapes  and  flourishes.  Shakespeare’s  Ophelia  is  visited  through  Millais’   representation  to  weave  grief  and  mourning  of  the  lost  father.  and  then  a  youthful  young  woman.     Sitting.  The  intrinsic  potential  of  the  body  to  writhe  and  wriggle  out  in  these   works.  is  contrasted  sharply  in  another  portrayal.  and  complete  submission.  that  of  submission  and   immersion  into  a  natural  order.       Self  -­‐  Transformations   Two  large  works  gyrate  out  from  these  self-­‐representations  within  the  natural   order.  ‘transparency’.  mundane  object  into  a  painted  metaphor   of  concealment.  The  tenuous  tip  of  sable  hair  gently  coaxes  these  veins  of  paint  out  on  the   surface.  she  is  made  in  the  guise  of  a  supple  doll.  and  the  transformation  from  this  infantile  child  into  an   adolescent  girl.  a  big.  The   painter’s  mind  enlivens  this  inanimate.  playing  and  lying  on  a  cot.  It  is   taken  as  an  image  to  hold  on  to  by  the  abstraction  of  painting.  A  child  like  self.     The  painstakingly  painted  soft  coverings  show  a  flimsy  enmeshed  body.  This  metamorphosis  is   distinctly  shown  through  five  iconic  works  titled.  Transformations   materialize  within  the  enclosure  of  a  studio.   helping  in  the  slow  mutation.  both  these  situations  to   understand  the  tenuous  character  of  fate  and  its  rejoinders  through  Painting.  a  disagreeable  element  in  a  domestic  interior.  pliable.  involvement.  enmeshed  within  soft  or   buoyant  natural  objects  like  feather.gestures  emanate  serenity.  These  evanescent  abodes  encase  the  body  like  an  encasement  of  sorts.  ‘seeds   (faces)’   .  nonchalant  pile  of  Hop  bush  (or  Jacaranda)  seeds.  gently  hover   over  the  heads  of  the  father  daughter  duo.  a  daughter.  At  some   places.  flowing.    The  predicament  is  that  of  being  torn  between  truth  and  masquerade.  a  seed  pod  and   a  dry  leaf.     Perhaps  protection  hinges  on  the  point  of  suffocation-­‐  the  painter’s  mind  pivots   between  beautiful  reminiscences  and  stifling  nostalgia.  a  transparent  mosquito  net  floats  over  and   around  these  two  characters.  going  through  an  embryonic   transformation.   the  inability  of  the  artist  to  disassociate  the  facts  of  living  from  the  fictions  of   making.  though   with  a  gesture  of  extreme  vitality.  yet  demanding  extreme   flexibility  from  the  father.  the  body  is  seen  with  an  inherent  tension  and  a  latent   dynamism.  a  flower.  a  weaver  bird  nest.    The  self  oscillates   between  the  realities  of  past  and  present.  looming  abstractly  over   the  figures.  becoming  a  protective  membrane  for  them.  The  ‘web’.  The  gentle  lines  of   white-­‐grey  paint  become  slivers  of  silver  over  the  richly  painted  dark  blue-­‐black   background.       From  feeling  to  Conception  of  an  Idea     The  present  body  of  works  reveals  Krishnan’s  reminiscences  as  an  infant  child.  One  is  the  re-­‐presentation  of  an  enormous  cobweb  on  a  rose  creeper  and   another.  informal  mark  making  of   drawing.  Each  of  these   five  works  represent  the  under  developed  body.  almost  like  a  young  pixie!     The  characters  are  disguised  behind  gestural.  cocooning  them  within  a  maternal   garb.  titled.  but  paints.

    Perhaps  painting  becomes  an  act  of  discovery  of  that  sense.  The  artist  has   causally  projected  the  self  onto  the  still  life.  unknown.  We  feel  unclear  if  the  painter  is  painting  the  self.  all  being   reflected  in  the  small  droplets.  seeds  become  a  metaphor  of   reinforcement.  or  painting  the  self  as  a   fragile  cobweb.         Rakhi  Peswani   July  2012.  with  countless  obscure.  both  these  works  seem  like  a  ventriloquist  act.  staring   obliquely  at  the  nonchalant  viewer.  from  10th  August  till    29th  September  2012.  Time  freezes  there  in  this   frame  of  representation.The  metamorphosing  feminine  body  that  we  witness  in  ‘transparency’  flows  out   here  into  becoming  nature  itself.   reflected  in  the  dewdrops.  It  comes  close  to   alchemy.  Almost  like  a  still  life.  humorous  faces.     Precariously  dangling.   Bangalore         (Siji  Krishnan’a  recent  works  are  showing  at  Galerie  Mirchandani  Steinruecke.   reflecting  a  hundred  thousand  small  human  faces.  melancholy  and  humor  are  conjoined  in  it.         And  then  the  same  expression  flows  onto  a  pile  of  dry  ‘100  seeds(…)’.  vigorously  enmeshing  a  thorny  creeper.  as  a  viewer  of  the  still  life.  in  a  quixotic  embrace.     The  depiction  hinges  on  the  (dis)order  of  the  world.  its  relation  with  repetition   ad  infinitum  and  a  tenuous  intrinsic  order  that  helps  in  making  sense.    Renewing   faith  in  the  mundane  and  the  trivial.   together  as  one.  holding  a  nexus  of  many   lives  within  it.  of  the  self  as  a  protagonist.   Brittle.  framed  from  the  sphere  of  the   natural  world.  The  self  as  still  life  is   being  witnessed  by  many  strange.  light  and  yet  carrying  infinite  potential.  animating  the  seemingly  dead  through  the  arena  of  fantasy.  fresh  sparkling  dewdrops  are  painted  on  the  cobweb.)             .  viewers  of  this  frame.   Mumbai.

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