projects/ recent Rebirth of Detail
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Arte Laguna Award

Rebirth of Detail
Curated by Kanchi Mehta
Sunaparanta Goa Center for the Arts
Panaji, Goa

Preview -14 December 2013 - 14 February 2014

The term Rebirth functions at many levels with reference to life, it relates to the continuous cycle of birth and death and regeneration experienced in the journey of existence and spiritual progress. At a more conceptual level, rebirth applies to any form of reawakening, rejuvenation, or resurrection in life, be it shifts in cultures, economic cycles, galaxies in the universe, relationships, nature, architecture, or politics. There is an inevitable rebirth after every progressive and even degenerative area of continuation.

Every possible moment of re-birth creates a new detail, which determines and influences the past, the present and possibly the future. While every moment of rebirth might imply a death having preceded, it also anticipates a potential future full of promise.

Besides the notion of 'Rebirth' the title of this show brings another significant idea into our scope for consideration, that of 'Detail'. The phrase 'Rebirth of Detail', calls for a compelling contextual shift, whereby the familiar of idea of rebirth is qualified to define a more specific kind of rebirth, that of detail.

While the term 'rebirth' by itself immediately brings to mind literal, spiritual and metaphysical resonances, the term 'detail' turns those airy, philosophical considerations into something tangible that may be performed, stated and experienced, rather than just meditated upon. It immediately adds depth to the context and opens up a labyrinth of conceptual implications. This concept alone created a stimulating springboard for the artists to conceive of works for this exhibition.

'Rebirth of Details' could also refer to the process of exploring the minutiae that comprise the larger picture, but tend to get overlooked, which, when tapped into, can change our reading of the entire subject. The attention that is then given to these insignificant, yet fully extant areas, can transform the narrative. A rebirth or refocusing on detail also implies a particular sensitivity for nuance when it comes to the reading and production of cultural history: this would mean looking between the broader brush strokes of major cultural shifts and calling attention to the finer lines, the particulars of a period. When a discrete area of a painting, sculpture, architecture, or even a social system is considered in isolation, this detail becomes a very powerful factor in the overview. It gives that detail a rebirth, a life of its own.

This exhibition brings together artists from the Indian Subcontinent with seemingly diverse practices that draw variously on performance, installation, video, and sound. Each of these artists was chosen very deliberately either because the idea of 'The Rebirth of Detail' lies at the core of their practice or for the manner in which they have engaged with this concept in the past. I myself was drawn to this premise for the potential of its conceptual scope for artists to respond, extend, and play with the idea to create their own articulations of it. I engaged in intense conversation with each artist to arrive at distinctly individual interpretations of the title, as well as methods of production to express the same. We spent several hours one on one, weaving into deep and light conversations touching upon the various possibilities of the subject and how they might be incorporated into each of their works within the exhibition venue. Hereon, each artist opened up an entirely new meaning of the subject, and in turn, amplifying my own reading and understanding.

Sunaparanta Goa Center for Arts is a grand old Portuguese house, more than a century old, on top of the quaint hills of Altinho in Panaji. With beautiful lawns, an amphitheater and art galleries, it has recently been sensitively restored to recreate the original architecture. The importance given to retaining the indigenous elements of the space and recreating each detail is significantly important for the venue of this exhibition.

Rebirth of Detail