CATALOG: Intimate interiors–Beyond the dialectic of real and imaginary
(Roopashree’s paintings were exhibited at No.1Shanthiroad, Bangalore in 2007)
Roopa’s paintings, together, form an ‘interior’ that is a mirror image of the place they hail from. Imagining a painting as an ‘ interior’ is a comparision that she insists upon from within the painted images. The interior or/and painting is so composed as to compress the world within a given room or/and a canvas, so to say. A television, for instance, does this to the room within which it is placed, but in a unidirectional, dispassionate way. Roopa telecasts her immediate surrounding to the external world to which a domestic interior is a passé. In her world, the feminine, classical women and the artist as a domestic girl ‘can’ co-exist, for instance. If technology brings the world to home, as a cliché, she gives it back that which it cannot comprehend. For instance the representational politics of the world through the media is a construct. Often the construct and the actual are not reflections of each other. Roopa’s images, on the other hand, remove the notion of reflection between the real and the imaginary. The absence of the difference between such dualistic categories like past-classic, present-popular is the pictorial methodology that she employs to derive it within her paintings.
In order to undertake such a ‘negation’, she presents herself as (a) a domestic women and (b) an artist, simultaneously, within and without. Both are self conscious roles. For instance, a visit into her paintings is also a visit to her living space and the artistic place within which she shifts her daily routine. This is a catch-22 situation.
The scales of her paintings and the studio from which they evolved suggest a sort of display that could be aptly termed as painterly-installation. It is meant to bring in the viewer’s gaze within the breathing range of the artist’s actual and imaginary circumstance, only to prove that both are the same. The lower than eye-level display, negation of the notion of the gaps between artworks etc., are a few casual suggestions to catalyse the process of erasure of the frame. What lies within and without certainly and regularly meet. (The notion of ‘inside-outside’ is a concept that has been excavated for deeper meanings throughout the century. In Indian circumstance it ranges from Tagore’s “Gare Bayire” (in and out), Ananthamurthy’s “Purvapara” (East-West), alienation, exiledom and subjective-objective issues in science and humanities).
What is painted within or the referent (a designers’ glass, Roopa’s own recurring self and the sort) and the referred are related in an ‘unconditional’ situation. One need not resemble the other. None of the two ‘remind’ the other as much as they ‘bracket’ the artist’s own self. Her own picturisation is one of the image amongst many that enhance the act of self portrayal. She is at the heart and ‘center’ of the difference between the real and the represented world that she erases! The constantly modified meaning and mutual exchange of roles in between images, in between their arrangement and the dialectical relation between what lies within and without each canvas (or the lack of it) is the result of the intended claustrophobic deliberations.//