|Taufik and Rahul in 'measuring with stretched bodies'|
In his paper "Copies before Originals: Notes on a few Black House reliefs at Santiniketan", Kabir examines the strategies and functions behind the 'copy' works inscribed on the surface of the 'Black House' in a nuanced way. He comes to a conclusion, "The question of essence here, paradoxically then, is a modernist question all the way. For Nandalal and his people, the Black house reliefs were not schemas which they turned into appearances. They were rather the opposite; appearances of life-forms which were abstracted and synthesized into the universal schemas of form-making. The road of revelation was from image to form; from object to practice, and not the other way around. Seen in this light, the reliefs, as copies, indeed appear very modern in character. They seem to work as facilitators between modernist form-making and ancient objects of art, and one is even tempted to say that they don’t follow the originals, but precede them in a way. After all, it is only through their discursive mediation do we see the originals as formal constructions".
|George Luis Borges|
|'Lady under moonlight' after Raja Ravi verma|
When Pushpamala N copies Ravi Verma or Sher-Gil or any other pre-existent 'work of art', though we see it as a 're-interpretation', though we try to find out some 'subjective' presence of the 'present' artist, it is true that Pushpamala tries her best to 'justify' the original remaining 'truthful' as-much-as possible to the 'original' regarding the composition, colors, lights/lightings, expressions, bodily resemblance and so on. She never had any deliberate attempt to introduce or implement any visual element, which could be subjective and contemporary intervention, from her time. She tried to behave like the women in early twentieth Century woman, as it were portrayed already out there with much sincerity.
|The impressions Project (Sunday Afternoon)|
|Bringing the River to the Festival|
[to be continued...]