Medha Kapur of Saffronart on a film that explores the life and career of contemporary Indian artist, Baiju Parthan
Mumbai: Being Peripheral is a part of a series of films conceptualized by Anupa Mehta, that explores the life and career of thirteen Indian artists. The first in the series is a film on Baiju Parthan, a contemporary Indian artist who was born in 1956 in Kerala. It is directed and produced by Nrupen Madhvani. The film is being screened on September 15, 2012, at the Little Theatre, NCPA, Mumbai.
Baiju Parthan is an artist with a ‘mythopoeic imagination’. He is one of the early exponents of new media art, working simultaneously with paintings, digital images, installations as well as backlit displays. A botanist by training, Parthan scrutinizes images from the surrounding media dissecting them and then reassembling into a complete painting with a scientific accuracy.
His participation in the countercultural scene, his encounters with spiritual teachings and shamanic lore, his experiments with form, and his engagement with media flows and alternative reality environments have had a great influence on his paintings. He creates compelling mythic imagery. His art explores how information streams alter our perception of reality and how new categories of experience clubbed under the generic term ‘virtual’ reshape our cherished ideas about the world. Technology in his work is primarily used as an ‘interactive space’, where each node is a choice that branches out into an exploration of fluid boundaries of meaning, that suggests the ever present local within the global, and the human cogency.