Hetain Patel’s practice explores the subtle complexities of life, often employing humour and the languages of popular culture. The upcoming exhibition includes two of Patel’s latest film works: "The Jump" (2015) and "Don’t Look at the Finger*" (2017). These works, both fiercely dramatic, emphasize the artist’s continuing fascination with staging archetypal Hollywood action scenes. Don’t Look At The Finger presents a wedding ceremony, where the protagonists seek human connection and discover the dynamics of a relationship through ritual combat and signed languages. The Jump uses the widely recognized fantasy of action and superhero films within a distinctly domestic setting. Identity-formation has been a central concern in the artist’s practice since the beginning of his career, and, in recent times, it has been seen through the lens of imitation, particularly through language and physical movement. Here, Costume is a vital element in Patel’s work, and elaborate attire becomes the catalyst that precipitates the metamorphosis of characters and unmasks layers in their personalities. Since 2004, Patel’s video, photography and live works have been shown internationally within institutions such as Royal Opera House, London; Frieze Art Fair, London; The Tanks at Tate Modern, London; Asia Pacific Triennale, Queensland; Sydney Festival, Australia; the Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China; Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester; and Chatterjee & Lal, Mumbai. He has completed four substantial residencies including 501 Artspace, Chongqing, China and Southbank Centre, London. Hetain Patel has been represented by Chatterjee & Lal since 2010. Chatterjee & Lal was formed in 2003 by husband and wife team Mortimer Chatterjee and Tara Lal. The gallery is focused on emerging and mid-career artists. Based in Mumbai, the gallery and its artists have formed an important node in the city’s maturing art scene over the last fourteen years. Don’t Look At The Finger will be on view at Chatterjee & Lal from 31st January till the end of February 2018.
*A major new commission by Film and Video Umbrella with Manchester Art Gallery and QUAD, Derby