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Title:        Once Upon A Time In Mumbai.....Solo Show of RAJMAHAMAD PATHAN

Dates:      9 NOV - 19 DEC,17

Once Upon a Time, in Mumbai…..

Words evoke symbols/images and symbols/images evoke words; ever since the human beings invented scripts this has been the case. Condensation of ideas and concepts gives birth to speech and the need for registering speech becomes script, and interestingly once the script is established, the translation of it in human minds does not happen immediately as words but as symbols/images, from there perhaps once again they would take the shape of the words. That means, the symbols/images are intermediaries, entities floating in a nebulous space (a Trishanku Swarga/Trishanku’s Heaven) before going through the alchemy of word formations. Artist Rajmahamad Babamiya Pathan takes his viewers to that transitory heaven between symbols and words and makes them experience the zone of transformations; he deliberately takes the viewers to a nostalgic experience of going through the absurd yet morally loaded childhood stories that came in the form of illustrated literature. The constant shuttling through the words that appear in speech balloons as well as in captions and the images that condense the narrative helps the ‘child reader’ not only to understand the moral lessons but also to fine tune the zones of imagination.

What one loses in due course of growing up is also nothing but these fine tuned zones of imagination that link up words and symbols. It does not happen only because of coarsening the sensibilities due to life experiences but such blunting of imagination happens as a result of what I would like to call ‘image pollution’. Living in a world where each human being is assaulted with incessant image pulverisations where the ‘word-symbol’ correlatives are thwarted for deliberate surprising and teasing of human sensibility aiming at the generation of desire, the zones of imagination, carefully structured and fine tuned during childhood turn obsolete and when confronted with such image pollutions or image pulverisations could only run for cover, which would force one to an almost anti-socializing type or restructure the image-word correlative and attempt to inhabit in the spectacular and post-truth world/s. What Rajmahamad does by his works is a major resistance act through the creation of a pre-pollution world of imagination where the word and the image existed in complete harmony and provided vantage points for the flights of imaginations to take off and land.


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