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No face in the mirror

Curated by Delhi-based artists Pranamita Borgohain and Monica Jain, ‘The Signature in the Image’ seeks to explore the impact of a signed artwork

WHAT’S IN a signature? For any artwork, signatures are indispensable. Seeking to understand the implications of a signed image, here’s an exhibition aptly titled, – ‘The Signature in the Image’.

Curated by Delhi-based artists Pranamita Borgohain and Monica Jain, this show explores the impact of a signed artwork by showcasing works of India’s renowned senior and mid-career contemporary artists.

Taking this exhibition as a testing ground for critical questions that are so far unanswered in the art world, Pranamita Borgohain says, “Does a signature cause a work to be pre-conceived? Is a diverse body of work a means for an artist to assert independence to create, regardless of expectation and predictability?”

The exhibition will feature works of eight artists including Kolkata-based Avijit Dutta, Kerala-based sculptor Balagopalan Bethur, Delhi-based visual artist D Priyanka, Germany-based John Tun Sein, Mumbai-based Sachin Bonde along with Ganesh Gohain, Geroge Martin PJ, and Vijay Kadam.

Keeping in tune with the exhibition, their works are thoughtfully divided into two categories. One set will bear the signature of the artists and the other will not. Participating artists thus are given a unique opportunity to present their works as a challenge to familiarity.

Curated with a purpose to let the audience contemplate and ruminate when faced with anonymous artwork the show raises a few questions. Can a body of work created over a long span of an artist’s career, diverse as it may be, make a well-attested, authoritative argument for the absolute need or not for an artistic signature required for familiarity? Is the act of signing more about ownership and provenance, or is it an influence of western thought, considering ancient and medieval India didn’t have such a tradition?

“We are seeking to help the artists who intentionally search for meaning in the social context, free from signature in defiance of ownership and labeling through visual representations. Does the first crystallised thought make it a so-called ‘signature’ or does the culmination of that thought make it so?”  questions Monica Jain, director of Art Centrix Space.

‘The Signature in the Image’ hopes to spark and trigger greater questions around creativity, while seeking to examine if the artist’s signature is a truth intended to detach from or reinforce the idea of subjectivity.

The exhibition is on display at Art Centrix Space till February 22