- Art eliminates all the presuppositions that determine its ontology. In this precise sense Art doesn’t happen in affirmation, representation or narration of myths, histories, animals, places, events, objects and so on; on the contrary Art is marked by a series of ruptures that are subversive, destructive and somewhat negative.
- The subject matter of the Artwork merely points towards Artist’s ‘place in time’. Only way to talk about the Artist is not to really talk about the Artist; rather articulate a conceptual framework in order to outline a possible subject matter of Art, which means the ‘universal value’ produced by a perticular Artist.
- First of all to problematise the concept of ‘Indian Art’, to develop a potential framework what can be termed as ‘Non-Confinement’. Here, the problematic = ‘Indian-ness’= the subjectmatter of ‘indian Art’ that forecloses the very possibilty for the subjectmatter of Art = ‘Non-Confinement’.
- The idea of Modernism, within the realm of ‘Indian Art’, is only and only limited to its formal value – apropos the visibility of an Artwork. Notwithstanding the content that sustained and propogated somekind of ‘Indian-ness’ based on an identity. The hostile nature of ‘Indian Art’ in relation to Modernism has somehow maintained a sort of relativism or nationalism or chauvinism that was criticised by Mulk Raj Anand a la the writings of A.K. Coomaraswamy.
- The dialectical nature of ‘Indian Art’ can be articulated as the strife between the two – so-called ‘Indian-ness’ (self) and Modern (other); however, ‘Indian Art’ remains trapped within its internal logic of confinement or implacement – a very very vertical wall; and hence, not allowing an escape – the way out. Remember that the vertical, metaphorical, virtual (virtue) order of classical Art was later destroyed by the manifestation of the horizontal, white-wash, thing-in-itself, actual (act) and Now or New of Modern Art; which then allowed the emergence of the multiple modes of Art – not quite pertaining to a singular or perticular mode of being or style. This becoming of Art was triggered by the impulses of ‘Non-Confinement’ through severance.
- ‘Non-Confinement’ means displacement and dislocation in space and time – a situation of homelessness. This has affinity with the architectural drawings, where the act of drawing on the drawing-board with the help of a parallel and set square, is marked by the constant mediation between the horizontal plane (plan) and the vertical plane (section). The abstract space of architectural drawing is a site where the event of ‘Non- Confinement’ may happen – the horizon where sun rises and sets everyday again and again in order to manifest the present.
- Piraji Sagara drew like a nomad, while singing songs, constantly on move and in flux mapping on the white surface the uneven ground encompassing distant histories (primitive to modern) and geographies (desert, mountain, river, city, farm, forests, garden, village, sea etc.); involving variuos media, techniques, styles as well as subjectmatter – bringing together diverse or multiple or many so that not to confine to one. A complete rejection to the ‘place in time’ is essential in Sagara’s work – a heroic commitment to the spirit of ‘Non-Confinement’.
Asit Bhatt, India, January 2014