Ravinder Dutt is an ambassador of time who travels between past and present with a pack of cartographer’s tools in hand. Dutt, whose family history in Delhi runs back to several centuries, is also a tomb raider of sort, who looks for ancient cartography in order to navigate to find the treasure troves of tragic and comic histories. In his cleverly juxtaposed images of historical as well as mythical figures on historical maps, blue prints of urban planning and imaginary paths of purposeful navigation, the viewer could see how a city has been evolving over centuries, submerging stories and evoking new lore and legend.
At the same time, in order to find truth of such evolution, of human bondage and freedom, of avarice for power and glory, and of annihilation of bonding, the artist assumes the role of a flaneur, a casual stroller along the streets of the city, soaking in sights, smells and tastes. In the process he comes up with gems of findings that as ordinary human beings we tend to forget; of which some are enthralling, some engrossing and yet another set, depressing. Such findings are important, feels the artist, especially in a time when everyone digs up history to perpetuate competition and hatred. In Ravinder Dutt’s woks history becomes a platform of reminiscence and reconciliation. His art derives from nature and from his own personal surroundings these days, with nature becoming more and more human centric, all the other forms of life, objects and materials found in nature are deemed lesser in importance than human beings. Therefore his works attempts to remind us of the value of nature, the importance of our personal environment, the forms of nature and the importance that we should accord to them.
Venue – IGNCA, New Delhi
Date – 3rd September to 8th September 2014