Friday, May 2, 2008

Bad Moon Rising: Abul Kalam Azad's "Animal"

A mini-review of Abul Kalam Azad's recent show in Ernakulam. My extended review is in the current Matters of Art, available here.

Abul Kalam Azad's latest series of photographs, "Animal," on display at the brand new Ishka Gallery in Kochi, are shot in the color-filter shades of a computerized twilight. In one, a buffalo looms menacingly in the sinister shadows of a color negative, underneath a sky digitally darkened and pasted with an artificial moon. It stands there in the middle of a road staring at the viewer, only reconfirming a truth that some of us have learned the hard way: buffaloes don't like to be photographed. The image, printed on a large canvas, effectively evokes a reaction that fires on multiple registers: it is a cranky animal, you tell yourself. An ill-omened creature. No wonder the demon Mahisha disguised himself as a buffalo. And that thing looks ready to charge. Azad's recent work pursues this sort of honeycomb indexicality, digitally intervening in otherwise straightforward images, interrupting the false photographic promise of simple truth-telling, and casting his animals into the crepuscular space of mysterious and sometimes threatening voodoo.


workhard said...

This is real nice work.. i like the sublte hues on the cows body.. and the blue in the sky

Work from home India