Adip Dutta | I have a face but a face of what I am not: Experimenter – Hindustan Road

5 August - 10 September 2011

Banality is a contention of late capitalism, a creation of macroeconomics, and an effect of material culture. Closely bound with notions of boredom and ennui, the banal is shorthand for those routines and value systems of high capitalism that are as annoying and trivial as they are obligatory. Our everyday is made up of numerous such banal objects that have only functional and mundane applications. Whether itʼs a simple toothbrush or a broomstick, they are seemingly bereft of any aesthetic appeal as if they have lost their identity. Not so in Adip Duttaʼs world for whom everyday is an intense exploration of the boundaries of the ʻbanalʼ and a constant attempt to propel them into the domain of higher disciplines like archeology, architecture, drawing and art history. Through an inversion of the usage of industrial material, skilled craftsmanship and refined practice, Dutta creates spectacular objects and drawings that re-examine our modern history of taste and endeavors the reversal of negative value judgement.

A large carcass like structure at first sight appears to be an archaeological discovery, in Unititled, but on closer engagement, reveals itself to be a simple, but larger than life, hair clip pushing the banal object into an aesthetic elevated category. From being immersed into functionality of ordinary life, the object attempts to attain a position from where it participates in reclaiming a political voice. Duttaʼs practice oscillates between sculpture and drawing, which form the significant body of his work for the exhibition. Seemingly mundane objects of domestic and personal use form a series of delicate brush drawings on paper, juxtaposed with small, trite objects blurring the hierarchy of their classification and relative significance. Industrial springs protrude from a wall creating form and shadows that resemble fine non-geometric tessellations.

Through a complex sculptural process and slow, meditative drawings, Dutta builds a delicate yet riveting scaffolding of structures and references that simultaneously shape up an aura of the objects and scrutinizes the hegemony of the form in I have a face but a face of what I am not.