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State Of Affairs

14th – 28th July 2018
Britto Space, Dhaka

A duo exhibition by
Aminul Islam Ashik &
Shimul Datta

Curated by Shimul Saha & Ayesha Sultana

This city is drowning in noise. Dust is accompanying the offbeat hammering of construction sites meant to elevate this city to a higher economic sphere. With no enforced regulations, neighbors have nothing to do but cringe and wait the months and years it will take for a site to finish, just for another developer to add to the orchestra of chaos.

Meanwhile, the news and media outlets are making threats seem more real than they are, keeping the masses afraid, so that the oligarchs can rule from their silent palaces out of the city center. Nowhere else in human history, have we had such grotesque structures rise up at such rapid speeds. Are we going to a better place or setting ourselves up for disaster? Shimul Datta’s sculpture selfie, attached to a fan motor, is either shaking its head in distress to our current affairs, or serving a warning by endlessly saying no to the whole situation. The fan in the heart of the accompanying humanoid sculpture is perhaps meant to cool off the spectator, so that they can remain silent in comfort. Knowing that there is not much they can do to the snowball effects of the industrial age. Perhaps we can contribute by using less plastic and taking up bicycle riding.

The choice of colour in Ashik’s sculptures reflect the industrially prevalent colors of our wastage products that are overflowing earth’s oceans. Marine life is being overthrown by tones of garbage. The motifs of chairs repeat through the sculptures of Ashik; a hint at the game of thrones, or perhaps global politics theatre to keep the masses down and under.

There is no way to know in this age of manufactured confusion, but Ashik’s sculptures attempt to at least remove us from the situation, so that we can see it as detached observers, and thereby gain some sort of clarity, even if for a moment.

A pillow separates another sculpture in half, comforting the paradox, that we are actually making our lives worse by trying to make it better.

Shimul takes a jab at this paradox by transforming the noise into sculptural forms, with three objects on a prominent wall representing the ambient noises of Dhaka.