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SHRUTI MAHAJAN TRAVERSING THROUGH PERIPHERIES AND OPEN EXTENTS
PALAK DUBEY

The series of works on display at Goethe Zentrum, Hyderabad by artist Shruti Mahajan (from 29th June to 11th July) were an extension of her series of works done on ‘home’, in the subjective context as well as Universal. Through her untitled works the artist explores the individualistic, historical as well as political aspects that are deeply ingrained and are indispensible part and parcel of existence.

Drawing remains the artists preferred element of expression. Shruti explores the possibilities of ‘line’ from varied distances and depths. Her drawings in a simplified, silhouetted manner unveil the meanings of boundaries and peripheries. From a personal and introspective manner her works recreate nostalgia about the many cities she visited, stayed and got attached to and then shifted to another city again to unpack and build a new home. The works also reinstate the relevance of home in physical, real attributes as well as the abstract, emotional side to it. And hence she comes up with multiple excerpts from memory and history. The nostalgia is unanimous like a subtle, abated, undercurrent.

The periphery and outlines get mentioned in the form of borders between countries, barbed wires, gates etc. The line that divides and separates two countries/territories, the paradigms, tensions of their close vicinity and the security one feels inside the periphery of one’s own nation gets unveiled through a small video installation which was also a part of the present show. The video depicts freehand drawings of Indian map with the background playing the sound track recorded from the border that separates two countries India and Pakistan. The mention of a dotted, ‘line of control’ gets a palpable applaud and grants a grand conclusion to the short documentary.

The series of twelve mixed media works, of boxes, in open, closed, upturned, half exposed stances, altogether create an interesting rhythm. The shift of perspective from one box to another in itself weaves an allegorical moment. The artist tells more about the series,” The household utility objects and other pieces are often packed in boxes when one shifts from one city to another. The unique, diverse, special and highly individualistic elements belonging to a family get neutralised and regular when stuffed inside a box. The geometrical shape of the box conceals the contents in an interestingly intriguing manner and strengths.” The boundary of a home and the open space outside, the migration and the attachment to a new place forms the core nucleus of these works.

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