Exhibition text for 'Prolonged Hours of Disguised Situations'


17 Jan - 25 Feb, 2015

Prolonged Hours of Disguised Situations, a solo exhibition of mixed media drawings and paintings by Zakkir Hussain draws on the contemporary experience of exile, the body as a site of power and control, and the growing disconnect between humanity and nature.

Migration and the experience of displacement, of not feeling at home within one’s body, social space, or city, figures largely in Hussain’s work. A family emigrating on a boat, cut branches of a tree, a severed train, or human figures trapped in perpetual motion are instances speaking of such movement. Despite jostling for space and representation, elements in Hussain’s work are often trapped in monologues, alienated from one another and permanently suspended “in a state of indefinite affairs.” Hussain’s visual language communicates a reality that under represented by media yet ever present.

The human body in Hussain’s work is a significant space of discourse. Baring signs of punishment, dismembered forms are expressive of imposed rules, dogmas, social and state control. In Hussain’s words, “My aim is to enlarge wounds of bodies and spaces inflicted and rejected by dominant cultural discourse.” The eyes of humans and animals in Hussain’s works often meld on the visual plane to meet the gaze of the viewer. In doing so, Hussain confronts the hegemony of sight and the periphery and assumed totality of the human form.

Describing his works as “fragile theatres of catastrophe,” a sense of the uncanny emerges when viewing Hussain’s work, unsettling the viewer through conflicting visual associations. Through the overlaying of seemingly disparate juxtapositions, the architecture of Hussain’s conceptual landscapes destabilises established power structures by challenging one’s notion of self and the manner in which one identifies oneself with the world at large.

Zakkir Hussain’s solo exhibitions include Zero Tolerance, Vadehra Art Gallery, Delhi, 2012; 103°C Yellow Fever and Other Works, GALLERYSKE, Bangalore, 2010; Krinzinger Project, Gallery Krinzinger, Vienna, 2008; Return of the Unholy, Vadehra Art Gallery, Delhi 2008; and Emerging From the Womb of a Scapegoat, Kashi Art Gallery, Kochi, 2007. His group participations include Contemporary Contingencies, Gallery OED, Cochin, 2014; Amma, Umma!, India International Centre – A Festival of the Arts 2013, Delhi, 2013; Peak Shift Effect, Vadehra Art Gallery, Delhi, 2013; the first edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, 2012; A Further Global Encounter, Grosvener Vadehra, London, 2012, Art Chennai, 2011; Baggage: Burden/Comfort, ARCO, Madrid, 2009; Progressive to Altermodern: 62 Years of Indian Modern Art, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 2009; Ten Light Years, Kashi Art Gallery, Kochi, 2009; Recent Works, GALLERYSKE, Bangalore 2008; Reading Paint, Gallery Soul Flower, Bangkok, 2007; Shadow Lines, Vadehra Art Gallery, Delhi, 2006; New Voices, The Guild, New York, 2006; and Compensation for What We Have Lost, Travancore House, Delhi, 2006. Hussain lives and works in Kochi.

View images of the show here: http://www.galleryske.com/Zakkir_2015/index.html

Vasundhara Sellamuthu