With visuals created with materials from the surroundings and daily life, Ajith tries to address the morbid violence embedded in the society that has been normalized and legitimized. His works in the show engage with the incessant bloodshed, and beastly carcasses of a repressed section of the society, therefore politicizing the phenomena of death. In engaging with class and caste conscious notions of torture, suffering and death, he questions the so-called ‘educated’ ideology, morality and political correctness, beyond the ‘complicated cloud’ that seduces and blinds our preliminary vision.
While being trained as a sculptor in Trivandrum College, Ajith had to spend a great amount of time and energy in drawing the human model. However, over the years, in Ajith’s art practice, the individual identities of the people who he had studied and sketched, met and spent time with, have given way to an abstracted form of a skeletal body, much like a machine, troubled by mechanical/psychic contradictions. Visuals of world cinema that capture collective pain and suffering from brutal oppression, have been a referential source of imagery for Ajith, which he further strips to bare essentials of forms that in turn carry a baggage of personal experiences of unresolved conflicts.
In this set of drawings, repetitive mark-making on the surface interrupt the volumetric rendition of humanoid forms, often in a desolate landscape, which the body tends to be one with, after being mutilated by some external force. Ajith refers to artists like Hieronymus Bosch, Hermann Nitsch, Enzo Cucci as well as filmmakers like Pier Paolo Pasolini and Alejandro Jodorowsky for inspiration, in pursuit of creating personal visual metaphors which can address the morbid symptoms of the dogmatic society he lives in. Ajith wants his works to retain a poetic visual ambiguity where his political and ideological stance is nuanced and not overtly explicit; his images to be personal and symbolic, but open to a multitude of interpretations. The set of expressionist drawings in display are graphical yet lyrical, the lack of words or text, intensifying the undercurrent of latent aggression and ineffable pain.
Ajith Nedumangad was born in Trivandrum, Kerala in 1990. He initially did a BSc in Botany before turning to art, completing his BFA in Sculpture from College of Fine Arts, Trivandrum in 2016 and MFA in Sculpture from Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communications, Hyderabad Central University in 2018.