The Looking Glass is strongly inspired by the famous Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and, so, the name reflects on the second book, Through the Looking Glass.
Alice’s journey is a journey of self-reflection where she finds herself immersed in various aesthetic compositions. Every character is a reflection of her inner desires, where she is constantly engaging her audience with her self-awareness.
The subconscious, conscious, and the projected self are intersecting factors in an individual at every moment of time and to be able to clearly visualise this for an audience is to bring the interaction with the self in the public. So to start with, The Looking Glass emphasises on the human conditions of interaction between the self and the desired self. Here, the notion of human condition is grounded on history, politics, and society as we have witnessed them in our collective journey. Therefore, Varnita Sethi, Mahhima Bhayanna, and Mahmood Ahmad help recreate this essential dialogue with their viewers in this hope that their viewers would engage with the auto-narrative in an urban visual space.
|(Mahmood Ahmad l Mahhima Bhayanna l Varnita Sethi )|
The show is being held at a garage space in a residential area in New Delhi with the purpose of looking at the deep recesses of architecture that engulfs our tendencies to travel between time, space, and events. This is further enhanced in the works of Varnita Sethi, who puts herself on her canvas by projecting her desire to self-pleasurise. Sethis’s sexuality reminds us of Alice’s budding desires that she visualises in the Mad Hatter. The Mad Hatter’s inane interactions are emphatic of life and the several sexual self-dialogues convoluted in language and advices to Alice. Sethi’s works gives us a glimpse to her Mad Hatter through bold colours and strong strokes bringing out the woods of her buried desires. Her work comfortably interacts with a larger audience.
Mahhima Bhayanna takes this self-dialogue to a realm of intricacies as she weaves her miniature and calligraphy techniques to that of the abstract form. Bhayanna’s works bring forth her desire to reflect collectively through her meditative space reminding us of the rabbit running late that led Alice to jump into a hole. This intense desire to collect all pieces of time and purpose is a conscious dialogue in our current moment. It is not of crisis, but of addressing that which we engage with everyday. Bhayanna’s works display her dialogues with her self and her desired self that intends to engage her audience in her delicate and gentle strokes that Alice’s rabbit embodies and, yet, does not. Mahmood Ahmad adds his virile dreams to our narrative’s purpose of directly engaging with our subconscious visual space. He surprises his meditation with his boldness in directly addressing his journey. His charcoal sketches remind us of Alice’s colourful dream in an alternative urban visualised context. In his works, his dreams are lucid and he wants his audience to visit his wonderland.
All in all, The Looking Glass hopes to engage with all our Alice’s wonderland and, ergo, lends us a mirror to reflect upon.
Art Writer- New Delhi