opening: June 8, 7pm

duration: June 9 – August 27, 2022

 

There are few do-overs in life. Imagine the painting that never quite came together; the magazine article that fell just short; the song whose hook never separated from the bass line – the deadline came round, the document was attached to the email, and off went your work into the world, ready or not.

 

Who ever gets a second chance?

 

Radhika Khimji’s second exhibition at Galerie Krinziger follows her 2017 “Becoming”, when she showed photographic collages, small-scale drawings, and large wooden cut-outs suggesting the silhouettes on bodies. As part of Krinziger’s studio program, she made the works in situ, testing

 

But, she says, she knew that the pieces weren’t ready. Five years later she has returned to the work, slowly and meticulously adding to the same drawings, composites, and cut-outs to make them more active in the gallery space, in the appropriately named “Adjusted Becoming”.

 

Khimji, who grew up in Oman and lives in London, originally made the works made the works by painting in oil and gesso on wood, collaging together fragments of photographs to suggest scenes midway between a body and a landscape: a kind of Rorschach test of narcissism, playing, she says, on the human tendency towards anthropomorphism, or the way we like to see everything as images of ourselves. In the paper and wood collage A mountain built rust in the system (2022), a pointed protrusion jutting upward could be a mountain; two protrusions hanging downwards breasts – how quickly we read these elements. The adjusted artworks retain this oscillation between body and landscape, but have grown in confidence and complexity. She has arranged a number of them in new constellations; to others she has added minute, net-like patterns covering areas of the collages. They highlight elements of the works that can be perceived as bodily, as if they were a strange, scaly or even digital skin: a suggestion of animalistic appearance that accentuates the contiguity between man and landscape.

 

Khimji has been painting these patterns on her photographic and collaged works since 2001. The practice is inspired by the necklaces that Khimji’s family places on devotional statues of Krishna every morning. By adding to them, Khimji transforms the paintings from representational objects to ones that act performatively: as for the icons, her ritual awakens them.

 

This idea of activation has become fundamental to her practice, and she sought in other ways to concentrate attention on the performative capability of the artwork. The titles of the works show the bodies arrested mid-gesture – Right Leg Up, She Is Sitting, I Stepped Over a Hill – emphasising of bodies perpetually in motion. She incorporated a circular structure into the centre of the gallery, hanging the cloth and paper work The Ring and the Necklace (2022) inside. The idea was based on paved circles that surround trees in Vienna – an everyday bit of urban design that causes walkers to swerve and weave without even realising it. Here, a stone framework approximating the brickwork keeps the viewers at a distance, positioning the artworks as bodies or structures that must be moved around.

 

For Khimji, the idea of construction is read as a space of becoming: a site where one’s inner world can be built up alongside the structures of an outer world. In Oman, where construction was rampant throughout Khimji’s childhood in the modernising nation, she learned to see construction as a mode of potential: to see the walls, ceilings, courtyards that would eventually be, but not yet.

 

For “Adjusted Becoming,” Khimji works to seize that “not yet” moment of the awakened space between the picture plane and the viewer. A visitor walking into a room, she has said, is like turning the lights on. With the works stacked up against each other, leaning against each other, hanging from the ceiling, the space of viewership becomes the central focus of the viewer’s experience – not the doll-like, ritual objects, but the act of viewing, looking, and thinking about them. (Melissa Gronlund)

 

Radhika Khimji was born 1979 in Oman and lives and works in Muscat and London. From 1998-2002 she studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and from 2002-2005 at the Royal Academy of Art where she completed her studies with a Fine Art Post Graduate Diploma. In 2007 she graduated at the UCL with a Masters Degree in Art History. After her Residency and a solo exhibtion at Krinzinger Schottenfeld in 2017 and 2018 Radhika Khimjis works were shown at a solo exhibition at Galerie Krinzinger in 2019. She has had solo and group exhibtions at the Experimenter, Kolkata, India 2021, Drawing Biennal, Drawing Room, London 2019, 2017,UAE Marrakech Biennale 6, Marrakech, 2016 Gallery Sarah, Muscat 2016, 4th Ghetto Biennale, Port Au Prince, Haiti 2015, Gallery 88, Kolkata, India 2015, Katara art center, Doha, Qatar 2012, Barka Castle, Barka Sultanate of Oman 2010 and Saatchi Gallery, London, 2010.

From June 21 – August 21, 2022 her works will be shown at Summer Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts, London. Rahdhika Khimji is one of five artists exhibiting at the first Omani Pavillion at the 59th Venice Biennial until November 27, 2022.