Gyan Panchal

31 Jan – 03 Mar 2018

against the threshold

To encounter Gyan Panchal’s sculptures is to contemplate the idea of encounter itself. There is, of course, a thing in front of you, whose provenance is not completely decipherable: What was its life before it was so carefully transformed? Where was it found? How was it first made? Now, is it still that same thing? Each label hints at the specifics of material, but to think about the encounter is also to consider oneself as one thing among other things, to accept that we cannot entirely comprehend the valence of our connection with what lies outside of us, only approach it from a certain angle. 

Panchal’s making begins with an investigation into the found objects he gathers, working on their surfaces in order to become familiar. The objects are usually taken from the places in which he lives and works, as in against the threshold, which comprises materials procured in Bombay. Panchal’s process, then, is a means of getting closer, of attempting to approach things that are around us. By washing them, slicing through them, or sanding them down, Panchal inevitably makes these things unfamiliar in appearance, distant from our understanding of them otherwise. The folds of a vest are frozen in resin; the inner layers of a bucket are exposed; the rawness of a polished aluminium thali is drawn out. In these activities, there is a deep concern with looking outward, at making contact and acknowledging the expanded idea of existence, while asking whether the inside of something other than oneself can ever be accessed. 

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