On April 9, Rana's show will open across two galleries in Mumbai, Chemould Prescott Road and Chatterjee & Lal, his first exhibition in the city in five years. On display will be a series of works in what is now his trademark style: large photo mosaics made up of scores of tiny, seeming unrelated or contradictory individual images. One of the most provocative examples of this technique is the six-part Veil series, first exhibited at London's prestigious Saatchi Gallery and Chatterjee & Lal in Mumbai in 2007. The work showed an anonymous figure dressed in a burkha, with this larger image made up of tiny, blurred pornographic stills of women, taken from the internet. By juxtaposing the two ideas, Rana critiqued negative stereotypes of women, both the sexual objectification inherent in pornography and the stereotypical image of women from the Islamic world constructed by the media.
The paradoxes and duality of a larger image and its constituent smaller images have dominated Rana's artistic practice for the past decade. "Today, every image, idea and truth - whether in ancient mythology or the news of the day - encompasses its opposite within itself. We live in a state of duality," says Rana. "My works are an effort to represent this complexity and transcend the bold divisions that people create in their perceptions."
Thus, in Mumbai this month, Rana will exhibit works such as the Language Series, three mosaic landscapes made up of tiny photographs taken by Rana over the past two years of all kinds of text present outdoors in Lahore, such as chalk messages on walls, banners, posters and signboards. "So much of cultural, social and political history is embedded in these texts," says Rana...
Article by Riddhi Doshi | Hindustan Times