THE WASTELAND

The Wasteland (Studio 4)

Welcome to an artistic enquiry that is remarkably clear in its message: these are photographs that introduce us to our wasteland. It is a landscape of our doing, our near-future that treads on a trepid nightmare, demanding to know, ‘what happens when nature no longer nurtures?’


This is a landscape of loss, an abstraction that disallows any human or humane presence. It is a sight of ecological collapse; what Arun Kumar HG’s Landscape (2011) elaborates upon with visual investigations, alongside the desolation that is absolute in Akshay Mahajan’s series of deathly still, weathered-down, and isolated buildings (2014). These geotic concerns critique our consumerist culture, our rampant and unchecked exploitative advance that ultimately – and perhaps all-too definitively – leaves us with nothing.


We are left standing in front of sprawling towers of concrete brutalism, as Gigi Scaria’s In Conversation (2010) and Atul Bhalla’s Innundation (2010) understands. In abandoned parking lots, ghost cities, and sprawling-yet-empty urban complexes, we see the receding natural landscape ghosting us into nothingness. It is a state of chaos and flux, as Avinash Veeraraghavan’s My Incapacity For Reason (2010) signifies with a digital collage that is meticulously constructed with digital images juxtaposed. We have with us an image that is defined by distortion, inaccessible to anything organic and nurturing. Puja Vaish’s From Memories of Under Construction (2012) implicates a constructivist environment, a world-building machine that continually sweeps its way towards ‘development.’ It is the sanitation of an environment that slowly, but surely, sweeps over its very sweepers. Mustafa Khanbhai’s digital collages, such as Lethe 1 (2015) interrogate the historic, cultural, and linguistic affectations that decide the fate of our constructed forms; it is the swelling ocean, where human intervention no longer triumphs – or remains ambiguously threatening, as Jyoti Bhatt’s Omega-Vita-Alfa triptych (2007) scopes. Bhatt’s landscape resists the familiar pull of recognition, leading us into a rabbit-hole that challenges our perceptions of where we are.

Akshay Mahajan
Japan Cotton Trading, 2014
23 x 29 in
Akshay Mahajan
Bombay Railway Tracks, 2014
24.4 x 30 in
Puja Vaish
From Memories of Under construction, 2012
14.5 x 21.5 in
Jyoti Bhatt
Alfa (Triptych),
2007
13 x 19 in
Akshay Mahajan
Untitled 5, 2014
23 x 29 in
Atul Bhalla
Innundation (KHOJ Portfolio – Set of 12 Photographs), 2010
16 x 20 in
Mustafa Khanbhai
Lethe 2, 2015
15 x 21 in
Jyoti Bhatt
Omega (Triptych),
2007
13 x 19 in
Arun Kumar Hg
Landscape, 2011
19 x 39 in
Gigi Scaria
In Conversation (KHOJ Portfolio – Set of 12 Photographs), 2010
20 X 16 in
Mustafa Khanbhai
Via Reduction 2, 2015
15 x 21 in
Jyoti Bhatt
Vita (Triptych),
2007
13 x 19 in
Akshay Mahajan
Untitled 4, 2014
23 x 29 in
Avinash Veeraraghavan
My Incapacity For Reason (KHOJ Portfolio – Set of 12 Photographs), 2010
16 x 20 in
Mustafa Khanbhai
Lethe 1, 2015
15 x 21 in