Iterum, through the oeuvre of Rahul Jain and Gunjan Arora unveils an immersive exploration into transience. A first of its kind of exhibit at our gallery, it abounds in the joy of discovery, of sheer wonder in the brilliance of this duo, who's 20 years of artistic practice has been defined by sheer meticulousness and unending devotion to their medium. For me, as the curator, it is a breathtaking journey into the vast possibilities of what can be accomplished, not with paint, stone or clay but threads, collected from all over the world.
Drawing inspiration from the ethos of Wabi aesthetics, these works emerge as a rebellion against the norms of modern aesthetics, surrendering to transient and uncontrollable aspects. The works, as explained in 'Everyday Aesthetics,' by Yuriko Saita - transcend the commonplace, honouring the flow of existence, finding beauty in randomness while preserving an intuitive structure within this unpredictability. Resonating with diverse philosophical landscapes and reflecting varied perspectives of repetition and cyclicality, Iterum showcases a rich tapestry of thought. In philosophy, Friedrich Nietzsche, the renowned German philosopher lays emphasis on the recurrence of moments and events in life infinitely and challenges individuals to confront the idea, urging them to embrace the repetition willingly. Henri Bergson throws light on iterum with a special reference to the concept of duration. Time continues through an indivisible flow and thus, iterum can be observed in the unfolding of duration. The process of endless becoming, says Alfred North Whitehead, the English mathematician and philosopher known for Process Philosophy, explains everything being in a constant state of flux and iterations, where each moment builds upon the previous action, continuing the process of creative transformation. The philosophies from the subcontinent, encapsulates iterum through the concept of Samsara, where individuals navigate through iterations and unending pursuit of transcendence of the cycle of birth, death and rebirth, aiming for enlightenment and liberation.
Iterum breaks away from the conventional delineations of foreground, middle, and background, transcending traditional norms to create illusionary depths. Threads, symbolic in their ability to bind everyday realities, serve as the fundamental medium here. Handfuls of collected threads become the essence of artistic expression that are meticulously sewn together with a curved needle. The random assemblages and intrusive mark-making techniques employed by Rahul and Gunjan's organic compositions embody a sense of transience, where forms and structures generate multifaceted connotations constantly evolving in interpretation.
Drawing inspiration from Rumi’s words, their journey unfolds the weaves of visual tales celebrating life's dimensions. The artist duo believe life transcends black and white, finding existence within the shades of grey, defining the essence. Within the landscapes of creation, each work reconfigures the shapes, perpetuating a cycle of creation permeated with light.
Iterum thus invites us to traverse the continuum of existence, to embrace transience, and to appreciate the beauty found in fleeting moments. Ultimately, it encapsulates the essence of impermanence in a timeless artistic endeavour.
- Monica Jain