Prasad Raghavans "Decalogue" is a bit of Sorcery... It is a virtual act, a desire for dissolution... by elaborately operating upon a vast and cannibalizing image industry which in itself is reflexive of human productivity and material greed.
An all encompassing fast replicating material excess is meticulously shrunken as each individual piece is threatened of loosing its dual existence to become an insignificant drop in a vast ocean, threatened to shrink even further to the microbial level, and suggestive of further shrinking to a subatomic level... No art books can contain this work in its entirety. If it is reduced any further to book format the work disappears. And thereby defying "All Reproducibility".
On the flip side of jurisprudence
In weathered layers of time, dating back to pre-history, slumbering deep in our unconscious, lies an old and dormant memory of an ancient art of magico ritual. A simple ritual act done on a depicted image of an animal to free its body from the spirit to facilitate a desired result… a grant and fulfilling Hunt!!! Deep in our collective psyche, yet something else is alive and kicking! A latter day cause, yet a millennium phenomenon, a mother of all depressions… a mid-twentieth century Kafka-n Angst!!! It gives us the jitters each time we step out to toil through a civic sensibility of a neo-dark age. It gives us the chills each time we brush through the real hell of a hopelessly disarrayed criminal justice system. With the urgency of the need, the dormant comes alive. We have all reason to crave for magic, and yet again evoke the art of trapping.
"Decalogue." Prasad Raghavan’s second home production in this series presents serigraphic prints and videos. Images of ten single figures, their attire revealing their respective professions, their faces concealed in cloth, hands placed in front, looking captured, desolate, dejected… They are displayed in a row as if been made to stand for an identification parade as we walk past.
Virtually brought to book they are the real offenders and culprits of a societal mess. They are the masters residing high up in the echelons of power and constitutional immunity. They run the show and are seldom caught. A lopsided criminal justice system riddled with loopholes and endless hearings, allows them to give us the slip - into the flip side of jurisprudence. Whereas smalltime offenders easily caught are brought to the media with their faces wrapped in cloth, and put behind bars where they stay as ‘under trials’ for decades together.
A clear message a plain method, as it echoes a few ‘algebras of infinite justice’. But the vulnerability too is apparent. In a fast growing, replicating culture of disbelief, relentlessly fed by fake encounters and false information, faith in justice is more at stake than ever before.
Titled after Krzysztof Kieślowski’s masterpiece, with its biblical reference to The Ten Commandments, so does the Decalogue here too, take the same route as it culminates in a trial. The trial takes place in the video room. The nature of the interrogation is suggestive of inquisition. But the accused answers in gibberish, with the moves and tones of a mock theatre. With the emerging ambiguity, follows an unpredictable end. No catharsis no euphoria, no heart rending climax. The abruptness of the end breaks the comfort zone of the drama that it is, and one is left alone with oneself to feel even more sharply the starkness of our reality.
Placed on the hotbed of contemporary art practices, the postmodern condition and complex theoretical pursuits of locating the post-colonial in the postmodern, somewhere certainly our monadic ego yet craves for a simple magic of trapping.