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CREATING DREAMS WITH LIGHT AND SHADOWS

Wielding media as insubstantial as light and shadows for his striking “sculptures”, Patrick Rimoux required both the inventive imagination of an artist as well as the technical virtuosity of a ‘new technologies engineer’ to create his installation, “Under the Sky”, and 10 art works that were on display at Akar Prakar gallery. His exhibition in collaboration with Baudoin Lebon gallery of Paris was held between January 10 and February 5. Rimoux, who is from France, uses celluloid — actually old film rolls — as paper and creates works with them. They are similar to framed paintings, although not quite.

Rimoux has done spectacular projections on buildings, festival venues and hills depicting images and text and letters from the alphabet, and lighted up city streets as well. His dramatic projections transform whatever they are aimed at, endowing them with a dream-like quality that they do not possess in reality. Entire palaces, museums and buildings seem to swim in an aqueous haze when Rimoux has touched them with his magic, although in daylight they look very different. Rimoux has collaborated with leading international architects as well to orchestrate his extraordinary spectacles. His projection for Jantar Mantar in Delhi opened recently. For the gallery, he had tailored the installation, keeping in mind the limited scope that the tiny lawn in the middle of the exhibition space offered.

He had produced a largish box with rolls of old Bollywood films for the gallery. The projections on this mundane object with no pretensions to beauty changed from time to time like a kaleidoscope. Only this was far more complex. Composed of thousands of dots, dashes and curlicues of paint, the geometrical designs remained transfixed for a few moments, and then they would disperse, dissolve and swirl and eddy to form new configurations. The beauty of the complex designs that glowed in the dark reminded one of Byzantine mosaic — only these were always in a fluid state. One can understand how his initial training in sculpting with clay had left its mark on his later work with light and shadows.

The same mosaic-like designs reappeared in his works fixed on walls. Forty to 44 strips of film, each an inch in width, were stretched between two sheets of acrylic and displayed. He had chosen old Bollywood films for this project, but he uses classics of world cinema as well, depending on the context. These strips, too, were mottled with dots and dashes using a permanent marker. The resultant surface, with the rows of images embedded in the celluloid each followed by Rimoux’s markings, created an intriguing texture. However, these were no match for his “light sculpture.”