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Abir Karmakar | Uncanny Space

Written by Bansie Vasvani 


Drawing a fine line between voyeurism and vigilance, Indian artist Abir Karmakar’s second solo exhibition “Uncanny Space” at Aicon Gallery continues with his preoccupation of seducing viewers to become surreptitious onlookers of his painted private spaces. Yet at the core of his presentation of empty bedrooms and intimate living areas lies the significance of invisibility. The nameless other, or the one who cannot be seen, lurks in the background, allowing the viewer to conjure upon these unseen figures his or her own human dimensions. In Karmakar’s “Scent” (2011) series of paintings from his earlier exhibition, “The Morning After,” a slew of bedrooms come alive from the sense of intimacy one derives from the environment. Bunched up sheets, creased pillow covers, discarded clothing, and subdued lighting unleash prurient sentiments and prying eyes forbidden from outsiders. Karmakar invites viewers to partake of the sensuousness of the rooms, and imagine their occupants whose scent lingers through each visceral detail