Notes From the Zeitgeist
Zeitgeist, derived from the German words Zeit meaning 'time' and Geist which stands for 'spirit' translates into the 'spirit of the times'. Praveen Naik's exhibition Notes from the Zeitgeist is a tongue in cheek commentary on an era where India is witnessing tumultuous change.
Scheduled to coincide with the Goa Carnival and International Women's Day, the exhibition hopes to add voices to the ever-growing public discourse around gender inequality, human rights and our identity in a place of multiple cultural narratives.
Naik continues to grow as an artist with a liberal and avant-garde approach evident in his contributions to several noteworthy exhibitions including The Unbearable Lightness of Being at Kala Academy Goa in 2012, Bioscope at IFFI in 2013, Kama, Interrupted at Gallery Gitanjali in 2015 and Pushing Boundaries in Germany.
While in his earlier works, Naik devoted himself to gaining insight into the complexity of his own mind, in this series of 15 paintings and 10 drawings, he takes us through the landscape of his inner musings on faith, marital and sexual desires, human rights and global concerns. He references the friction and fusion of globalization and conditioning in Opposites Attract, Fidelity Lost and Barred by Conditioning. He gives a voice to the silenced and denuded women through his paintings, "My Queen Doll" , "Postcards from Patriarchy" and "Chulha Chakravyu" bringing to light the suppressed feelings of anger,pain,humiliation,objectification and disempowerment.
While the conditioned mind is held in the grips of religious beliefs and traditions, it is also getting brainwashed by the media into a mode of savage consumerism. This idea is poignantly expressed in Generation Wind-Up, where a blind-sided baby crawls across a multitude of delivery boxes, blissfully unaware of the Trojan horse lurking in our midst.
He satirizes an epoch caught in the throes of traditional mores fast fading under the digital glare in works like I've got My Eyes On You that speak of the loss of privacy and troubling voyeurism . Dasa Avatara 10.0 delves into the search of one's identity in a time when we are inundated by numbers, programmes and codes. He explores how the virtual world carries in itself the seeds of altering the human psyche.
Forming a part of this suite of works are Naik's smaller multi media studies on diverse lines of thoughts, ranging from unchecked appetite for acquisition in God of Greed to the price of freedom in Freedom is not so Free and Creative Bloodlines, to the need for inner balance in Ascension.
His visual language is unique, striking and witty. Using stencils and delicate layering, he creates a rich tapestry of cultural motifs and archetypes. Skilled and confident, he experiments with acrylics, a variety of mixed-media and collage techniques that pulsate with colour, evoking an epigrammatic imagery.
Naik's visually and contextually potent works call for an intense dialogue.
Co-curated by Gallery Gitanjali and Katharina Domscheit-D'Souza