The Trojan Works.
Sumedh Rajendran and Prasad Raghavan in differing contexts, have been involved in grasping and making comprehensive statements about the notion of the public and of public space. This has provided both a subject and subjectivity to their works but in ways that differ in approach and starting point.
Both artists are interested in arresting time in order to evaluate the macro-management of global ‘democratisation’, of these metro unions, of imported styles, looking at the desertification and, by forensic comprehension, using cultural tropes of sculpture and digital culture to acknowledge what remains standing. Their works are fused with notions of what is just, what are the justifications and how is justice affected.
Their vital recordings and activism, drawn from the close observations of the city of Delhi and its surrounding municipalities, provide a visual public hearing of some debates over the war of space and the postponed peace in the constant upheaval of its growing multitudes.
Sumedh Rajendran often explores ideas that help him deepen his commitment to an understanding of the irrational nature of hypocrisy. It is within the palimpsest of urbanity that his imagination re-constitutes theft, killings and destruction. Here, floundering states and fixation on anger astutely focuses the narratives of his works. These collage type of images create vast cinemascopic sculptures, wherein surfaces and motifs merge. His creative explorations provide powerful statements, which play with our sensualities specifically our need to consume - a cul-de-sac or end-motif of many relationships that have been developed by an immense industry that has created monstrous urban desires.
Prasad Raghavan’s recent work is a constant re-evaluation of the legacy of the art film, specifically its historical place in the image of the world that it has explored. Raghavan uses the unique space of the poster in trying to re-instate the impact of the art film genre in the world of images. With a remarkable ingenuity and a skillful detailed graphic reorganisation, he re-inscribes his own commentary onto the existing image taken from art film history. The original work, carefully and intelligently re-worked by the overlaying of watercolours, acrylic and charcoal, finely dissolves into a new image. The new images are drawn from his understating of the maligned, the disenfranchised and the dislocated. In search for a language, Raghavan has worked from the graphic world of signs and signifiers to allow us to understand notions of exile and the historionics of the contemporary.
Excerpts from essay by Shaheen Merali