A review of Asmita Duranjaya’s art installation Librarium Arboris Pirats galerie, February 2012 by Miriam Evanier
Why teleport through magic doors at an art exhibition? Because we can! Librarium Arboris reveals an artist who, with open arms, shares her delight in this world’s special magic. Zoom out. Zoom in. Fly. Play. Serious and honest art withstands our close study and even our celebration in the experience. Let’s enter.
From one leafy sphere to the next, we travel an enormous tree, through themes that have compelled the artist: fashion to abstraction, color to shape . . . each linked with an artbook and an RL artist quotation. These quotations are key to solving the puzzle. For an artist, writer, and educator who also designs books, the integration of books in this installation and elsewhere comes naturally. Here, the lushly textured books guide, inform and entertain. Turn off the stream and enable media for your tour, because Asmita’s art also communicates with sound and action.
What to wear? Dozens of self-portrait cutouts in couture clothing populate the fashion section of the tree. Central to the cutouts, a seamstress’ torso topped by a shopping bag spins while dollar bills and coins swirl around it. Chick-ching! The similarity of these figures to paper dolls strikes this viewer as both amusing and polemical. Asmita conveys the limitations of a virtual medium and examines the economic engines that pervade our world. The presence of a sewing machine and the mechanical sounds suggest industry.
Abstract art. The nearly tactile nature of the textures lining this globe balances the abstraction of shapes and colors. Stalactites swing and flex from the globe’s domed ceiling like strands of an enormous paintbrush, loaded thick with paints.
Color. Thick, tooth-like stalagmites encircle a blue pool. Piercing colors demonstrate compatibility of the additive RGB model with the mechanics of the human eye. Sensitive to these primary colors, the eye also uses light to perceive and interpret reality (and virtuality), so here onscreen art has an advantage over real paintings.
“I paint with shapes,” each disembodied voice repeats. Are these the voices of the artist and her colleagues? No, they are computer generated, but clearly this artist endorses the statement. The words, including “MEGAPRIM,” celebrate the art of building, in neon colors.
The Solution Room. We don’t want to give away the solution, but the prize merits participation, and the room, itself, surprises. Chances are that it also surprised the artist. This can happen—in fact, it must happen. The behavior of physical objects, themselves, surprises. With a little luck, you may recognize that your participation makes an important contribution to the art, itself.
This is serious, important work, from an artist who values friendship and collaboration. Congratulations to Asmita Duranjaya and to Pirats galerie owners and curators. We all appreciate the work you do. Thanks for sharing it, and in such a disarming way! □