By Peter Harper
Bela Gupta’s large oil on canvas paintings exhibited recently at Artifact question the condition of dynamic spatiality in a historical context. The artist’s overall ideological ambition is to frame political issues related to imperialism and cultural expansionis. These issues are articulated by juxtaposing pictorial elements and fragments borrowed from documentary sources.The artist is compelled by the interaction of civilizational paradigms; her intention is to engage into play visual parallels that refer to the results of causality, as well as to the condition of perception and projection.
The artist implies that our collective experience is dynamic and manifests a visual space determined by memory shifts and cultural analogies. In a broad sense she depicts a world where unrelated events can begin to co-exist simultaneously. This often creates a comical effect which allows for an ironic political commentary.
On another level Gupta’s works seem to suggest that there is a supra-mundane world that not only co-exists with the world of empiricism and intellectualisms but also is bound within the groundedness of reality. The slippage from ties of social conditioning is further implicated through her depiction of figures hovering in space unencumbered by the condition of usefulness, the signifier of restriction itself set free. The artist’s vision asserts that there is a continuum of thought-perception which validates and nullifies the condition of what might be called “the sensory givens” of physiological and somatic existence.