Absorption into the Nomadic and Luminous

When 4 Jun 2011 - 31 Jul 2011
Where Frey Norris Contemporary & Modern
161 Jesse Streeet
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States
Enquiry (415) 346-7812

Abandoned Picture, as told by the element itself, 2011.  Video still, 3:32, edition of 5. Courtesy of the artist and Frey Norris Contemporary & Modern SF

June 4 – July 31, 2011
Opening Reception: June 4th, 4-7pm

Press Release:

Absorption into the Nomadic and Luminous, Ranu Mukherjee’s debut exhibition at Frey Norris, unites two investigative bodies of work; an exploration of the figure of the nomad as it manifests itself in both material and philosophical realms, and a meandering journey through an imagined personal history of relations at the intersections between Indian and European/U.S. culture.

The center of the show is a suite of short hybrid films that combine animation and photographic material into captivating depictions of tactile events. Exploring representations of ephemeral matter in lithographs from 19th century India, they flesh out the artists interest in the relationship between screen based pictorial space and painting. Beginning with pictures embodying the moment in which the Indian deities began to be represented in a western style pictorial landscape, she removes the deities and begins to ask questions about how the sacred is dealt with in a secular context and how the epic enters into the everyday. They plot a course through a received understanding, via personal stories, of transitions India has undergone in becoming a democratic secular nation, and then, after attempting post-colonial economic autonomy, joining the global marketplace. Appearing as glimpses of a larger, uncontainable kind of narrative, they are evocations of accumulated human habit becoming incorporated into the unknown.

Accompanying the films, in an antechamber, a group of ink paintings on paper are presented as a network of images, ideas and social relationships guiding Mukherjee’s current work. Honoring the impulse to jot things down as reminders and intentional cues for a future moment, the artist uses painting as a form of note taking. Mostly painted from printed matter, she allows the edges of things to be irregular and for the image to sit on the paper off-center, referring to a thing and its itinerant representation simultaneously. The image becomes artifact.

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