‘Revelation of Dreams’-Chippa Sudhakar’s mixed media sculpture
Chippa Sudhakar’s prints and art works kept into my viewing for long, long before I met him, sometimes in any of the exhibitions, art camps works display, etc. Introducing me to his works at those displays was like a passer-by introduction without any serious interaction. After a considerable time when I met him in his studio, I felt, without my realization his works strolled in to my understanding much before I recognize him in person. His studio ‘Banyan Hearts’, at the quiet and amidst the nature’s green and bird’s singing, away from the city’s grey polluted colors, and the heart breaking vehicular sounds, stands at the outskirts of Hyderabad, of course in the knowledge of many an artists and art lovers.
Sudhakar’s work has immense cool communication in colossal quantity. Art works-paintings, prints, sculptures, wood and mixed media are placed on the studio walls and the floor. They display a maturity on their elucidation. One of the sculptures attracted my attention, titled ‘Revelation of Dreams’. It is a figure of a young lad that has white smooth surface possessing real white feathers of a bird on its wings, looking somewhat like Sphinx, a human/animal-bird form. That boy makes us to believe, he is about to fly.
Revelation of Dreams-
Sudhakar said, ‘he is ever caught by a dream that he is about to take off and would be flying at those up above the sky distances’. Probably he extended his imagination and wanted to view a pictorial of that imprisoned image of his deep sleeps. It is possible for visual artists to deal with such desire and present a visual form of their mindscape. He is a trained print maker of two dimensional formats. He chose to create a form in three dimensional format that would perfect the hazy dreams to get a clear picture avoiding any un certainty. Presence of third dimension brings better view of diminished dreams. Two dimensional formats of prints or paintings are illusive on third dimension leading to further imagination. He is successful in negotiating a three dimensional form that would exhibit the drama of his dreams as real as possible. Dreams are hazy pictures but impose a real like appearances in the memories. He is presenting a recognizable form of those vanishing materiality of imagined pictorial of his dreams. He caught his dreams like vapors cooled down to form the water drops. Both, Real and imagination are travelling together for a perfect compilation in his work. This endeavor of his creation is interestingly combating the real and imagined, myth and reality, existing and non-existing, benevolent and malevolent, etc. of opposites and antonyms.
If a human being wants to fly one of the possible imaginations is one needs wings of a bird. Then the resultant form is certain to resemble Sphinx, a mythical figure. His Sphinx like human and bird form is not exactly appearing like vicious mythical figures of Greek, Egypt, etc. sculptures. His sculpture has more of a touch of earthly existence than the mythical form, more benevolent appearance than the malevolent appeal of such figures. Wings of his flying man have a smooth, white creamy surface because of the real feathers he pasted to the wings to get the real feeling of wings. As well he facilitated the sculpture with real hard machinery in the hands and feet as if that supports imaginative flight of human wings. Existence of wings for a man is unreal but the feathers of the wings are a reality in his sculpture. Human beings have a set complexions but the pure white color of the body of his sculpture is unreal. But the color of the sculpture’s body vouches more toward the reality than the colors of dolls. His works offer both menacing and reassuring combination, promising and unpromising approach for the viewership simultaneously. He says ‘he brought the feathers of a Turkey bird from China’. Is it not collapsing the far away distances between China and Turkey imaginatively?
Once again I rambled to read Sigmund Freud [1856-1939] who is remembered immediately on the subject of dreams, writes that dreams are ‘Royal road to the unconscious’, are a form of wish fulfillment. Such desires that have conflicting pleasure and reality principles are unacceptable to the egos of the civilized lives, have therefore been repressed in to the unconscious. That suppressed wish returns to the dreams. He speaks the content of dreams is determined by the circumstances and events of an individual life. He also says there are typical dreams they appear universally. References to the fine arts are surprisingly rare in Freud’s work, though he posits his discussion on visual imaginations of dreams. He does privilege verbal over visual, even though he often describes dreams as picture puzzles. Underlying mechanism for creativity is the sublimation as it is for dreams, the suppressed/regressed wish. At times he speculates that they represent actual events that occurred in humanity’s early History or Prehistory.
I put a question to myself, ‘When the events of History can play as regressed wish return to dreams, why not Art History and development of art of the past cannot play in sublimation on artist’s imaginations? Even if it is in the case of Sudhakar..?’
Julia Kristeva[1941- Bulgarian born French theorist] –Takes the thought from Freud and talks about instinctual energies that operate between biology and culture, soma and psyche, between biology and representation. Interpretations cannot be reduced neither to biology nor the social, they operate between body and representation of imaginations. Survival of the psyche is also important for imaginations. Art represents that that is buried in the unconscious that is both challenging and pleasurable. Art is always a response to the return of the repressed unconscious elements on both at an individual and social/cultural level. In this way art is a response to the individual and collective developments of Art, Art History and Aesthetics.
Richard Wollheim [1923-British philosopher] is another thinker like Kristeva who took the flight of thoughts from Freud. He is systematic in analysis about ‘seeing-in and seeing-as’ of art. The argument where he pitches is about the realization of the materiality of the canvas, paint or sculpture material and the incident taking place in the composition rendered by the artists. For example if a man is in agony and involuntarily viewer encounters the pain that is expressed by the artist in the art work, that is the communication prima art work. If the viewer’s focus travels from the ‘man is hit by an arrow’ as a subject, or the material of the art work like paint or metal, that is the best of materiality to communicate.
What is that I encounter as an analyst in Sudhakar’s work on revelation of dreams? The dream that haunted him was an universal dream as Freud says, ‘one wants to fly’. The sphinx like figure is making us to feel that he is about to fly. The subject Sudhakar wants to display his thought has taken the primary importance on viewership. If I say the visualization of flying figure Sphinx is from the art developments of history period and Western arts and Persian arts, I may not be committing any mistake, but it is insufficient till I further furnish the artist’s deeper thoughts in this commentary. If there is an ambition to feel more and live in different world is a fantasy that his thoughts are flirting. The focus of those imaginations have surfaced from the sublime and taken the figures from history of arts involuntarily. The sphinx figure is not a direct pick from the previous period of arts. His thoughts have processed the figure in sublimation itself. On the whole, picking up the pleasant feeling of his dreams has processed the unpleasant Sphinx to pleasant flight.
References- Ed.Chris Murray-‘Key Writers on Art: The Twentieth Century’. Rotledge. New York and London. 2004.