By our correspondent
KARACHI: Sanat Initiative Art gallery was again at the forefront to bring something very unique for art fraternity by presenting art exhibits titled “Orison of Kenosis” from Julius John Alam.
Name itself is very interesting which means “a prayer for emptying your own will to God’s divine will) or in simpler words to put yourself forward to God’s divine will.
Julius John Alam attempts to present that which is beyond presentation, the only trace of which in the world of experience is the posture the physical body takes in response to it. Therefore, he creates a material dialogue between the physical body and the absent body by bodying forth the space between the two. But these attempts are eventually futile since they fail to present that which is beyond presentation and only end up presenting the impossibility of just such a presentation. This, however, does not mean that it is a futile exercise because it fails to achieve an end, rather, it is a mode of questioning and a constant arriving at the limit of presentation.
Exhibition was divided into two parts;
Medium of wait/weight is plaster of paris and this body of work looks at prayer as the distance that connects the finite body with the infinite. Through archiving the skin or gestures assumed by the praying body the work makes tangible the intangible body of prayer, connecting the viewer’s body to the infinite. These sculptures are casts of the artist’s own hands held in a praying gesture, and, as such, are prayers given body.
Medium of Conversations is Gypsona type plaster of Paris bandages and as per Julius John Alam conversations, today, have lost their intimacy. This project was an attempt to connect with people on an intimate level. The artist invited people to allow him to take casts of the backs of both their hands and more than 200 people participated. The participant was allowed to keep one cast as a souvenir and the artist kept the other which is being exhibited here in “Orison of Kenosis”. This body of work is an archive of the ephemeral conversations that ensued between the artist and the participants.