un-practiced frugality By Akshay Raj Singh Rathore
Take the biblical jar of flour that never went empty and the jug of oil that never ran out. Replace with alternate, site-specific materials. Boiled seasonal flowers. Cabbage-infused water. A remaindered spray can. Vestigial ink, pigment, parchment-like brown paper salvaged from purchases from Parisian boulangeries, restaurant bills, etcetera. Transform the studio more into a kitchen than a laboratory. Buy nothing that is extraneous. Use whatever is otherwise either disposed of, disposable, or at your disposal. Let art happen. Allow for creative intervention. Accommodate every element of grace the canvas can register. Cast excess pigment from brush onto another canvas. Allow for simultaneous creation. Exploit every resource to allow for multiplicity not finitude. Take the line once used to demarcate the follicular. Suspend these lines so they now resemble curlicues, or strands of ‘workless thoughts’, or aerial roots.
Between the conscious act of repurposing, reusing, recycling and re-envisioning, transcendence may or may not occur. In the ecologically conscious hands of Akshay Raj Singh Rathore, transcendence is inevitable. The miracle of sustenance facilitates the miracle of sustainability. Through an act of consideration within the solitude of the studio, he reaches for that which lies within the boundaries of the horizon and all that can be grasped beyond it. Through practised frugality, through the mediation of line and colour and composition, he unearths a system of material activism that is sustained by his commitment to the epistemology of the leftover. “The vision of the show is political,” says Rathore. “It will take the visitor towards a new kind of aesthetics which, being rooted in the past, surpasses present sense of contemporary contemplation.”
The consequence is an eternally replenishing generosity of form, medium, and content; a robust fecundity resembling a lush, post-monsoonal harvest.