Works of one of the most prominent artists in South Asia Rashid Rana are showcased at Volte Art Projects with his immersive exhibition ‘It Lies Beyond’ and his monumental sculpture Desperately Seeking Paradise. A seminal and relevant exhibition, which runs in conjunction with the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference, (COP28), Dubai in early December.

Rana challenges our perceptions of scale through the intermingling of both small and large imagery, exploring and revealing patterns and similarities between expanse and the blending of the ‘micro and macro’. In It Lies Beyond the imposing proportion invites viewers to immerse themselves in the intricate imagery and multifaceted symbolism varying between an ominous and a serene seascape.

Which on closer inspection, reveals heaps of garbage with references to post-renaissance materialist inquiry, the explorations of, the expansion to the other worlds, sea trade, colonization, the Industrial Revolution, consumerism, and highlights the tainted waters owing to human waste and pollution marred by the effects of global climate change and natural calamities. The interactive experience is enhanced through Augmented Reality that overlays content onto real-life environments.

Desperately Seeking Paradise raises questions about how we interpret various points of view, our understanding of scale, and explores the formal concerns of two and three-dimensionality in form. What first appears to be a minimalist stainless steel sculpture at first, but a shift in angle of vision – it transforms into a panoramic skyline of an imaginary city.

Exploring the themes of nostalgia, duality, space-time, and displacement – from one angle it mirrors the space around it, yet from another it comprises of photographs of skyscrapers. The visual sequence is enhanced by realizing that the images of high-rise buildings have been derived from hundreds of tiny photographs of houses in Lahore, Pakistan. It is here that the micro forms the macro in scale to become the conversation, challenging the viewer to explore further what each image represents.

Together they seamlessly meld diverse elements to create a visual narrative that challenges perceptions and evokes introspection. They draw the viewer in, to consider the imagery for the beauty of its own, while contemplating its hidden meaning.


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