The Possibility of An Otherwise: A Solo Show of Mrudula Kunatharaju.
‘Possibility of an Otherwise’, features Kunatharaju’s new works on paper, moving-image and her recently unveiled experiments in the medium of sculpture. Using multimedia, there is an inclination to study genealogy through self-portraits, examining kin, vernacular scapes and architecture. Together, assemblies of elements become a means to assess prevalent social conditioning. Layered imagery confronts truths about systemically, ingrained patriarchy as well as presumptions, myths, tradition and taboos. The artist sheds light on the lingering intimacies and tensions of domestic settings. For Kunatharaju, art breaches the idea of being a mere means for visual consumption. It rather, acts as a tool to transform silence, giving it a voice: of persistence and resistance. Her practice is rooted in documentation of happenstances and consequences, both from a personal and social standpoint. There is a rigour to create an unrestrained narrative that allows for a plurality in interpretation, and in thought.
Through ‘Possibility of an Otherwise’, the artist engages with filial histories. There is a delicate narration of dynamics that occur within spatial realms of home, where oftentimes one encounters collision, suppression, distortion, joy and compassion. There is an apparent need to adhere to chains of commands that exist within ménage. Existing hierarchies carry a bitter-sweet constraint, that is unquestionably tied to societal expectations. A tug of war. One on either side, each holds tight. Overarching prescriptions. The rope is lined with grease and sand. The artist invites the audience.
At instances, Kunatharaju’s work serves as a confessional memoir that relies on introspection and scrutiny. There is a sincerity to portrayals, seeking to fragment, distort, re-arrange, and establish. Who am I? Where am I situated? What is my place? — observation and examination are followed by sedate.
The dignified silence prompts for a shriek: of justice, of liberation.
-Text by Shristi Sainani
Mrudula Kunatharaju is a multi-disciplinary artist, who employs drawing, painting, moving-image, and performance in her art-making practice. Through her work, she draws parallels between the politics of visual art and everyday existence. Her oeuvre reflects a strong feminine narrative, which draws from both, personal and learned histories. Kunatharaju graduated with a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam (2014) and a Master of Fine Arts, specialising in Painting from the M.S. University of Baroda, Vadodara (2016). She currently lives and works in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. She has held several exhibitions including Tender Buttons and a Bellyache, curated by Shristi Sainani, APRE Art House, 2023.