DUBAI | Nov 19 - Jan 7, 2020
Gandhi - Between Borders, K Madhusudhanan
Kerala-based artist Madhusudhanan’s first solo show at the gallery unfolds in the headspace of reading: his works are read as much as they are seen.
The exhibition is read at two speeds—as filmic succession and as gradual contemplation. Rushes, storyboards, sequences, flows.
Images flit by and yet our view freeze-frames each window, each unique charcoaled or painted stab at history. An assemblage of charcoal drawings, Homage to Ustad Bade.
Gulam Ali Khan (2019), takes darkness as its leitmotif, the images succeeding like a sombre storyboard of a bankrupt present, syncopated by a disappointing past. An assembly of sculptures, wordless witnesses to the violence simmering in the other works, loiter like the remnants of history.
The video History is a Silent Film (2008) is yet another ghostscape, in which the “snakes of tragedy” writhe in the mind like stiff, yellowing celluloid in the reels of a derelict projector.
Confronted with the violence of Partition, the insidiously destructive might of capital, the sheer decrepitude of history, how can Gandhi be relevant? The iconic Ghandijee, in Madhusudhan’s homage, is hybrid: his revered image is partially usurped by the mundane objects that define him – a cloak, salt, a goat, an umbrella. The narrative slows down, takes space to breathe. Yet the silence lingers.
- Kevin Jones
Bio of K Madhusudhanan, B. 1956:
Born in 1956 in Allapuzha, Kerala, Madhusudhanan studied Painting from Fine Arts College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, and Print Making at the Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University of Baroda, Gujarat.
His artistic practice flows seamlessly across various mediums in art and cinema, including video art and narrative feature film.
His work confronts India’s film history, her colonial period and contemporary war politics.
He is deeply concerned with war, colonization, and man-made borders.
Marxism and Buddhism have been decisive influences on Madhusudhanan’s art.
Madhusudhanan’s installation of 90 charcoal drawings titled The Logic of Disappearance - A Marx Archive has been shown at the Kochi Muziris Biennale: 'Whorled Explorations' 2014-15, curated by Jitish Kallat, , and in a solo exhibition at Baltic 39, Newcastle, as part of the AV Festival 2016.
The series Penal Colony has been shown at the Venice Biennale: 'All the World's Futures', 2015, Curated by Okwui Enwezor.
As a filmmaker he has made films in English and Indian regional languages, as well as two silent short fictions.
He is recognized for his unique personal style in engaging with the historical subject and evoking cinema’s magical powers.
Significant contributions include Self Portrait (Short Fiction, Hindi, 2001) and History is a Silent Film (Short Fiction, Silent, 2006), both of which were recognized as Outstanding Films from International Festivals, by MoMA.
His 2008 film Bioscope received multiple awards including significantly from the Kerala State Film Awards; Mannheim-Heidelberg International Festival, Germany; SAIFF, New York; OSIAN Cinefan International Film Festival; and the National Award (Special Jury Award).