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The Magician and The Surgeon; concept and curation Asmita Sarkar November 6, 2010

Posted by asmitasarkar in exhibitions and projects.
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In collaboration with Limousine Bull is an artist-led space with an open membership 01224 877001

Preview: Friday 29 September 2010, 7 – 9pm
Open: Saturday 30 September and Sunday 31 September, 12 – 5pm

Asmita Sarkar and Katarzyna Slawska are two recent MA Graduates from Gray’s School of Art who will be presenting a joint weekend exhibition of portraits in painting and photographic media.

The similarity and the difference in their work is the focus of the show.

Statement for the exhibition;

Portrait paintings and portrait photographs serve the same aim; to document reality and to represent identity, but the manifold difference between these two genres reveals itself prominently.

More than half a century ago Walter Benjamin compared the painter to a magician and the photographer to a surgeon:

“The painter maintains in his work a natural distance from reality, the cameraman penetrates deeply into its web. There is a tremendous difference between the pictures they obtain. That of the painter is a total one, that of the cameraman consists of multiple fragments which are assembled under a new law.”

In this exhibition realistic portraits and invented, digitally enhanced photographs of people share the same space. Reality and invention mingle. Paintings start with magic but sometimes they come very close to real experiences. Capturing a physical resemblance to the sitter is not sufficient to make a good portrait. It has to contain an assemblage of moment and the experience of looking by the painter. On the other hand the photograph starts from reality, but thanks to digital technology it can take a new invented form, insinuating meaning and significance that are alien to the “real subject” of the photograph.

Asmita Sarkar

This exhibition, though of a collaborative nature, is mainly my concept where a classmate from our Master course, Katarzyna  has contributed her photographic portraits. These portraits go very well with some of very realistic paintings that I have produced early this year. Portraits that are expressive and that have a story can elevate art practice in a different stratum. For the moment, subtle emotional expressions like a purse in the lips and eye gaze are my point of concentration. These expressions give away a lot about someone’s personality. And they are very universal across cultures and time.

While Katarzyna was interested in applying imagery from the history of art, religion, mythology, film  or popular culture to portrait photography. Her work is aimed to evoke associations based on our common knowledge and expose the fact that our perception is determined by cultural    pre-conceptions. I found interesting similarity and contrast between her works and mine.

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Halloween Project at Huntly; Secular Yearning for the sacred October 30, 2010

Posted by asmitasarkar in exhibitions and projects.
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Drawing is a secular yearning for the sacred. The fun, frolic and apparently light hearted nature of the festival of Halloween have a ancient historic root, which is Celtic in origin. In my project I tapped into this mythic and mysterious side of the Festival. Apparently Halloween has pagan origin, which was in Roman time a festival of Fertility. I made drawings/painting in the nature of mural in appropriate locations which is good for public inter-action; I did choose art-work in the type of my “creepy crawlers”. The reason for this is that these images have a quality of yearning. They does not belong to any particular religious iconography, But they are mystic.  I have already drawn them on the wall of our art school and observed the onlooker’s reaction. Most of the time, their reaction is disconcertment and wonder. I   feel that these images have some uncanny quality in them which is uncanny and aesthetic at the same time.

The aim of the project was to put art works in unexpected places. How it will affect the perception of the viewer. Can the unusual nature of the symbols and icons will be enough to produce mystery and intimation of something sacred, can it indicate or point towards the mystic roots and history of Halloween.

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Variation on an expression September 13, 2010

Posted by asmitasarkar in My works Drawings and sketches.
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Variation on an expression- This wall collage has abstract quality. Lines and forms of faces and hands are prominent. For me abstraction has a musical quality in it. To allude to this musical quality I named it variation on an expression. Just like musicians make ‘variation on a theme’

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Ritual Objects September 13, 2010

Posted by asmitasarkar in my works. Paintings, Uncategorized.
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Ritual objects- These cubes are also mysterious. They are named ritual objects because they have a fetishistic aspect in them. Or may be some magic and religious aspect is also present in them. For me magic, religion and fetish are akin to each-other

Also from an art historical view I like to think of them cubist representation of the flat surface of the canvass. Cubism has depicted different sides of an object in flat canvass. So that objects movement is captured. But for these objects the viewer has to move to grasps what is depicted on it.

about my creepy crawlers September 7, 2010

Posted by asmitasarkar in My works Drawings and sketches.
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Creepy crawlers- I like to call these drawings portraits of internal sensation and perception. They are ambiguous and mysterious and carry within themselves more than one interpretation. They can be blood veins, nerve-cells, dissected sense organs or seaweeds, roots of tree. I like to think of them depicting process of sensing and becoming one with the natural world. Inclusion of sea-gull is a personal one. When I made this drawing I am living in Aberdeen, where seagulls and their shrill cry are omnipresent. Their view and sound resonates in my senses.

I also like to think that these drawings have some reptilian, primitive quality in them.

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Master degree Show September 4, 2010

Posted by asmitasarkar in exhibitions and projects, Uncategorized.
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“All the intricate philosophy of mark, sign and traces plays out in drawing, it is the place where blindness, touch and resemblance become visible and it is the site of the most sensitive of negotiation between the hand, the eye and the mind.”
Colours, though vibrant and distinct in my works are secondary in importance. To hold these vibrant colours I have to use lines and drawing. Trying to draw expression is the process where the content and the medium become the same. Since drawing is one of the prime and basic mode of expression. I have studied psychology up to master’s level. Language, thought and cognition were my concentration. For me drawing is a language which gives the glimpse of a different reality.
In my show I have tried to reach several dimensions through figuration; Narratives, stories, religion, music, rhythm and internal world of sensation and perception.

How stories turn into songs and words go away from songs and it turn into pure music. This music merges into world of natural sound; .Like that of a shrill cry of a seagull.

The wonderful thing about drawing is that though it one can hear sound, feel tactile sensation and movement, create meaning through the eye.

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