Reviving the Retinal is the second part of a two-fold project that seeks to consider the relationship between the aesthetic and the appalling, or more plainly said, the beautiful and the ugly. History tells us that beauty was once linked to transcendence but with the dawn of the modern that connection was tainted by the promise of a technological sublime wrought by the age of industrial development. A deep cynicism arose when these advances did not chart a course toward a more ethical or egalitarian world; they did not lead to a political utopia. Beauty was left broken in wake of Benjamin’s angel of progress, a causality of the last century; however, as we stand with our feet firmly planted in the 21st century it has enjoyed a renewed interest both in terms of artistic practice and theoretical considerations. Indeed, one need only to look around and see that there is a renewed interest in beauty — a revived interest in the retinal. To be sure beauty is subjectively determined and historically fraught, but for the purposes of this exhibition it will be held as a concept that may shed light on new ideas and new avenues of exploration.
– Dr. Kathleen Wyma.
Artists: Abir Karmaker, Abul Hisham, Aji VN, Akshata Naik, Arunkumar HG Gurusiddappa, Mahesh Baliga, Minal Damani, Priti Vadakkath, Puja Puri, Rajan Krishnan, Sharmistha Ray, Subrat Behera, Sujith SN.
Dr. Kathleen Wyma is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Hong Kong where she teaches courses on contemporary global, modern and South Asian art history. Her research focuses on post 1945 Indian art, with a special interest in post colonialism and the impact of intercultural exchange in an increasing globalized art world.