A Surreal Experience

Shradha Ramesh reports on Neha Choksi’s exhibition at Projects 88, Mumbai.

New York:  Project 88 is the place to witness a liquefying Iceboat and blueprint of the sky in Sky Fold. The two works are the masterpieces of Neha Choksi, who steers your visual sensibility to an ethereal dimension.  A performance artist and sculptor, her works take reference from theatre, art and science. Choksi’s interest in temporary presence, in ‘an affirmative act of destruction’, and in gravity persists in all her works. Both her works Ice Boat and Sky fold are reminiscent of her interest. The works are on display starting October 3 to November 16, 2013 at Project 88, Mumbai.

Third among the video performance series, Neha Choksi has her audience entranced with her surreal Iceboat creation. Clad in a white monk like attire, the artist rows her way into Lake Pawna on a ice-boat under the blazing sun. The video is a sublime theatrical performance of the artist sinking with the boat. It appears like a twenty first century ritualistic practise of disengaging oneself. A lyrical enactment of dipping into the lake, her performance is timely and graceful. About her experience, Neha Choksi narrates:

“Everything is liquifying and it is a heady process to be part of that while it is happening.  You know you are headed for a second birth, a sort of baptism, if you will, and I put my back into rowing every now and then with extra vigour, as if I want to dissolve with my clothes and my equipment.”

The other two body of works that transacts with the notions of absenting and silence are Leaf Fall (2008) and Mind to Lose (2012).

 Sky Fold is the reflection of light on folded paper that creates a dynamic sense of depth and movement. The series is photographic work of cyanograms of varying sizes. By exposing the folded cyan colored paper to the sun, it creates a visual milieu of the evanescent sky. Neha Choksi creates a new visual language that transcends both visual art and theatre. The viewer gets enticed in both her performance and aesthetic creation.

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