This exhibition gathers the work of artists who share in common a desire to interrogate the nature of objects and the way they are perceived. Objects and object-ness, perception and its curious ways, artists as questioners, mediators and creators: the scope, then, is anything but narrow.
Almost anything in the world can be, can be thought of as, an object. Our basic desire to group, name and classify them, though, is forever faced with confounding frustrations. There you have a bucket. Is it an object? The question seems absurd or trivial—of course it is. The artists in this exhibition, however, make the attempt to go beyond what seems to be at first innocuously obvious. What if the bucket is cut into little pieces—what has happened to the original object and what has it become? Further: is my perception of an object the same as everyone else’s, or are these individual perceptions impossibly private? Can an object inherently “possess” meaning? Is the meaning in the materiality? Or, once again, is it individual or collective perception that imbues or creates meaning? And does the very act of “reaching” for something change both the person who strives to reach and the object itself?
These questions seem to be drawn from the arcana of metaphysics (or quantum physics for that matter). Our artists do not attempt to provide textbook answers—if answers to these fundamental struggles even exist. Rather, the quest is in, and cannot be separated from, each work of art and its particular staging. Each artwork shown here rehearses the preoccupations of its creator, in ways that invite multiplicities of meaning. An exhibition such as this, by definition, gathers and collects—but if we step back for a minute from ‘the doorstep’, or step to one side, or step into a different mood, how does the exhibition itself change, how does it then fulfill its necessary task of presentation?
Each of the five artists—Prabhakar Barwe, Hemali Bhuta, Jason Dodge, Shreyas Karle, Gyan Panchal—has a different practice, a different arsenal as it were, to create, mediate, interrogate. Words—which, let us not forget, are objects too—can do much; but, whether lofty abstract nouns or lowly but necessary prepositions, they can only do so much. The best way to experience what these artists do is to see, to experience, to partake. Come to the doorstep to be enticed—and perceive.