PROXIMITY, Sreshta Rit Premnath’s second show at Rodríguez Gallery, Poznań opens March 18th

Sreshta Rit Premnath
Rodríguez Gallery, Poznań, Poland
March 18 – April 20

In his second exhibition with Rodríguez Gallery, Sreshta Rit Premnath continues to consider the fragile and tenuous claim to space made by the disenfranchised. When a stable location is no longer guaranteed to people, their sense of belonging is resituated in spaces of intimacy. It is this space of “being-with” that Premnath focuses on in Proximity.

In considering the space and time of proximity Premnath asks: What is the shape of being with? How do we visualize the space between us? How do we trace the perforations and spills that blur, permeate and penetrate the imagined boundaries that separate one from another? If we accept difference—radical difference—to be the condition of society, is politics the science of negotiating and shaping proximity?

Review by Pia Singh in Art India Magazine

“In E/Merge: Art of the Indian Diaspora, curator Kumar presents an assembly of emerging and mid-career artists whose distance from their places of origin affords them the opportunity to present a complex take on belonging as well as the condition of being elsewhere. Kumar’s curatorial framework attempts to draw from a set of definitions, positing the diasporic experience as one “based on a shared set of fundamental assumptions that diasporic people retain a sense of ethnic identity, distinct from their host societies, and that they preserve an emotional allegiance to their homeland”…”

“Sreshta Rit Premnath’s Lean/Hold (2021) is a site specific sculpture, presented in a long and narrow space. Cast foam ‘bodies’ slump away from one another and are connected by a stretched coil wire. One can walk around them but never in between. The hyphenated relationships that Indian-Americans have, complicate the act of belonging to both native and foreign places. Lean/ Hold solicits acceptance, refusal, alienation and exclusion, disrupting the notion of community as a unified, conflict free entity. The concrete-like cast foam ‘bodies’ represent the cities we inhabit. Each form leans into a fence, pushing its weight against a cold rectangular metal frame, most commonly used at heavily policed sites of protest. Provoking images of uprisings and the profound shifts experienced by labouring immigrant bodies during the pandemic, Lean/Hold represents the imposition of order from seemingly strong yet fallible structures.”