'salt and Equal'
Ongoing public art project from Vasai Railway Station road to Vasai Vikasini College of Visual Arts, Vasai Vikasini Bhavan, Vasai Road (East).
A long monotonous stretch of salt pans and a long white wall are separated by a dirt road, that leads from Vasai train station to Vasai Vikasini college. Mirroring black electric wires above, a singular black line of spray paint, circumambulating the grafitti of lovers, morphs, just as the railway tracks disappear, into an illusion of twelve black and twelve white lines, made up of 1000 photostats of ruled lines, on a kilometer-long, 5 foot high, railway wall. The sun's changing reflections on the white mountains of salt create illusions on the wall.
Yogesh Barve was invited to make this work at his former college, founded by Roby D'Silva in 1985. He recalls this walk from the train to the college and extends a work, 'Equality/Inequality', that was installed at the International Studio and Curatorial Program New York in November 2012 where a pencil line runs across a row of inequally-placed, equally-sized cut-outs of orange paper. Through this mute but charged work, Barve, a young conceptual artist, finds a visual language to express the paradox of equality.
Taking this previous work forward, Barve replicates the mirage in the salt pans. Vasai, along with Sopara preceded Bombay as an ancient port and trade centre. It was once the Portuguese colony of Bassein and is home to Bombay's early residents, the East Indians and a community of musicians, the Samvedis. Comprising of many villages, it jostles for space with an alternate skyline of buildings for people working in the city. Being one of the suburbs furthest from the local train station. The salt pans act as a natural drainage for flood water, and with the mangroves of the Bassein creek, maintain a fragile eco-system.
Text by Zasha Colah and Sumesh Sharma
Yogesh Barve, assisted by Gaurav Keny, Mangesh Bhoir, KundanShanbhag, Mahesh Kamble, and students from the Bachelor of Fine Arts Painting Department.
Detail of 'salt and Equal', 2013.
The work can be viewed in video-format at Shunya Collective.
Exhibition at Clark House of limited edition serigraphs by AA Raiba of his Bassein series, etchings by Lalitha Lajmi, and the portfolio of graphic prints, 'Awaiting Reddy' ends on Monday 21 January. Sale of editions all day on Sunday 20 January.