Critics’ Picks

Murali Cheeroth, Memory Palace, 2010, oil on canvas, 48 x 48".

Bangalore

Babu Eshwar Prasad, Murali Cheeroth, and Ravikumar Kashi

Right Lines Art Gallery
224/1, 2nd Main Defence Colony Indiranagar
August 10 - September 14

In the midst of what is often called “the Bangalore effect”—the term coined to describe how India’s verdant “garden city” rapidly became one of the technological capitals of the world—this exhibition explores the metropolis’s constantly evolving cityscape and ways of life.

In his acrylic pieces Wrapped, 2011, and Grrr, 2010, Babu Eshwar Prasad focuses on objects that are similar yet dissimilar, such as a leopard-print jacket and a tiger—and places them against Dalì-esque desert landscapes. Devoid of context, the imagery in these works highlights the inherent link between the man-made and natural: for example, between the coat and the endangered Indian leopard from which the pattern originated. Murali Cheeroth’s Memory Palace, 2010, has a similar approach of juxtaposing somewhat related elements. Radio masts tower over a burgeoning city, which lies on a huge bed—while in the corner sits the small but watchful figure resembling Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bangalore.

Ravikumar Kashi’s Untitled I, III, IV, and V, all 2011, are perhaps the most striking works in the show. The cast-cotton rag sculptures of TV sets each contain a “screen” featuring a Bollywood trope—for example, an action film shot, a romance scene, or a tableau from an “item number” (a catchy dance number, usually set in a brothel). However, each image has been literally shattered—the original stills were reflected into broken mirrors before being photographed. These pieces attempt to make some sense of the fragmented ways in which people now engage with Bollywood—not only through films, but also music channels, movie posters plastered across the city, and actors featured in advertisements.