<%-- Page Title--%> Art <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 146 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

March 19, 2004

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Exploring Myths and Paradox

Mustafa Zaman

Ronni's world tears the boundary of our seemingly familiar world, a world that we often build to give life a rational dimension. Knowledge, logic, the basis of rationality, falls prey to imagination, absurdity and wit in Ronni's domain. He brings into existence a series of creatures, which get involved with each other and do quirky stuff that set the viewers on a metaphorical journey.

Sometimes Roni's visions are apocalyptic, in many occasions they are paradoxical. Often his pictures seem like a part of a greater puzzle. The puzzlement that might follow standing in front any one of Ronni's creation often give way to enlightenment. Because, Ronny play a conjuror, who is constantly creating characters and stories to outwit his admirers.

His subject matters are philosophical, sometimes even intentionally pseudo-philosophical. As they often question the basis of reason and philosophy for that matter. To be on the safe side, one must call Ronne's propositions ideas of metaphysical content, which is loaded with sarcasm and absurdity on top of that. They even venture beyond ideas. As for the viewers, if for some the contents and the expression seems too elusive, he or she will not be left without the feeling of awe. At least, a residual sign of a smirk at the thought of having confronted a relay of images and sculptures that are at odds with our common sense will stay with the viewer.

The common sense or should one say the sense of logic gets a beating after savouring all that Ronni has amassed in his second solo, cannily titled Mythoronnia.

Ronni has developed over the years a virtual world where all the visual stimuli and knowledge from the past and present gather to form a realm that tickles our subconscious. In fact it is the subconscious that the artist himself explores and brings out in the open a spectrum of forms and narratives -- the twin ingredients that make up his creations -- which are rife with metaphysical vitality. Ronny is a storyteller of the absurd, and he does it in an unusually witty way. He pads it up with a lot of sarcasm. This is why his grotesque concoctions seem funny and appeal to both of the visual and cognitive senses.

There is a huge canvas in this show that playfully sub sumes all the experiences from early civilisations to our technology-laden present. The work carries an interesting title that even pokes fun at the modernist absurdist guru like Becket. The epic of a work that is "After Having a Great Deal of Imperialism we are Waiting for Mr. Becket." In it, the usual Ronnian hybrids intermingle with the androids to reveal a panoramic scene of futility, as whatever actions are depicted, they are simply bereft of any fruitful end. The modernist pride in civilisation takes a beating from Ronni. Knowledge and technology are being answered to in a witty way. The whole image is filled with hybrids, androids and mechanical concoctions that seem like a caricature of real world achievements. In fact the animistic spirit, the Arcadian epic, the monolithic ideas of past civilisations, and the technological explosion is being addressed to in this big mural-like canvas that spans the whole wall at the end of the gallery of Alliance Francaise. But the beauty of it is that the epochal imagery, at first, seems like a mere invitation to a fantastic world. Later it dawns on the viewers that it invites a whole package of criticism and commentaries. As one begins to wade through the densely populated paintings, the fantasy gradually makes way for critical reflections.

Paradox is a pet subject of this twenty-plus artist. Paradoxical titles abound this show. "The Man Who Discovered Planet earth", "Forms are Not Always Formal", or "Too Much of Population Sometime is a Solution to Art", are prime examples. These pictures push the boundary of our imagination. In fact it is the ability to push the boundry that makes Ronnie’s art stand out.

The most interesting development of this young exponent of the absurd occurred in the domain of sculpture. This time around, the sculptural concoctions of the artist are varied, both in form and content. The weird machine-like thing that holds a pen in its metal wire tentacle in "Write Against Everything Even Against Yourself", and "The Man Who Discovered Planet Earth" that uses a real umbrella, are two outstanding testimony of the spectrum that Ronny explored in this second solo. Through art, Ronny negates most of the things we take pride in. He negates the modernist's world, as they have discarded what the artist considers to be the most important ingredient of life --- the power of intuition. He intuits his fantasies. This is why Ronni's realm seems charged with a poetic force that invites the viewers to snuggle up close to his imaginary tableau.



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