When we set out to respond to rain, which appears to have soaked the human body and soul over the millennia, we must be aware that it has by now successfully rendered science and logic inadequate as tools. We seek something more that an objective account of it, since to instantiate it as a natural phenomenon is only half the work -- the idea is to account for the “effect”. This is where art comes in. Rashid Amin explores this idea of the “effect” in his solo exhibition titled Meghomollar --The Monsoon Raga. The exhibition, opening from 3pm to 8pm daily, will conclude at Shilpangan Gallery, Dhanmondi on August 16.
Our somatic or bodily reflexes triggered by the somatosensory cortex are what we cannot fully define in relation to what lies internal or external to the body. Phenomena are neither subjective, nor objective; they are a mixture of both.
Between rain as mental stimuli and rain as corporeal reality, the artist appears with his informal, unpremeditated scripts, which primarily seemed to have been soaked in emotion since they seek to celebrate the monsoon. Rain as nourishment of the soil and human souls, rain as a blessing of Hari, the Creator -- all this demands a state of mind rather than a learned response. Amin's series of abstract works, thus, stems from an area of indeterminacy where the wall between internal-external and self-other dissolves. His work, as a psychosomatic response, is grounded in “process” rather than (re)cognition.
Amin's impulse is “anomic” (the word derives from Greek anomia, meaning “without law”) as he goes on to discover the voice of nature, to put it in romantic term. Here the individual and nature, or, the self and other, easily swaps places. Rather than the depiction of the recordable world, we end up witnessing or experiencing an ahistorical dance in accord with the rhythm of nature or natural phenomenon such as rain.
As an artist, Amin stays committed to a world view where digital devices have not yet muddied our senses, since when it does it displaces us from the erstwhile perch. He is stationed at a locus from where nature could be conceived as “whole”. He has already earned a niche of his own for his etchings, with his works in watercolour on paper he has explored or interpreted the gestural aspects of the monsoon. One ought to look at this current bulk of work as an extension of his past achievements. The current engagement has already resulted in a multifarious yield, and might also lead to many more thresholds in the years to come.
The writer is an artist, critic and editor of soon to be launched magazine 'a+'