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Biraaj Dodiya
Aimless Desires
December 3rd, 2020 - January 20th, 2021
Curated by Annette Hur

Sirens, 2020, Oil on linen, 78 x 60 inches

Curator's Note

Oftentimes with a sudden loss, we are left with uncertainty in which silence weighs on our body and every sensation is wasted until we reconfigure life with the vacancy. The balance becomes unstable, and we are forced to learn to accept the intangibility and to hope for the end of the broken balance. Recent paintings of Dodiya invite us into the process, a quiet one-person battle, of navigating the desolate distance between our body and some of the most unfathomable times in life.

In her writing, Dodiya states, “Referring to personal memory, loss and coming of age, the body of work takes the form of a lament; bringing together signifiers of youth and mortality, discomfort and relief, absence and distance through paintings and sculptures.”

The spatial obscurity and somber palette in her paintings suggest nocturnal landscapes at first sight; yet in no time, it starts revealing its linguistic exploration in multi-dimensional experiences of grief: weights, conflicts, negotiations, and acceptance. The results are far from fear and are close to contemplation or muted bearing of being left in darkness, taking one small step at a time. Moments of transparency come as a sense of relief while heavy-weighted forms of opacity suggest a sense of trust or support that can be held on to. This duality successfully skewers unrestricted yet tolerable times of aimless desires and offers some kind of closure of the quiet battle. 


Reaching out to tangible space, oftentimes with relics from artists’ personal collection, 

Dodiya’s sculptures take more forthright metaphors to the subject matter. They are close to the human body scale and pose as supportive structures that embrace not only the physical pain but also the complex spiritual roads ahead. The careful assemblage and vulnerable exposé of raw materials extend the viewers’ experience from heavily nuanced abstraction to honest narratives of concrete living memories of the artist. 











Aimless Desires is a solitary free roam of the artist and, at the same time, is a reconstructed story of her personal devotion to delicate attention to shifting emotions and the cognitive journey of mourning. In this unprecedented time, Dodiya’s work comes with great familiarity and we can deeply engage ourselves in her work’s emotional impact or simply rest in its solemn compassion.

There is a loneliness that can be rocked. Arms crossed, knees drawn up; holding, holding on, this motion, unlike a ship’s, smooths and contains the rocker. It’s an inside kind ---wrapped tight like skin. Then there is a loneliness that roams. No rocking can hold it down. It is alive, on its own. A dry and spreading thing that makes the sound of one’s own feet going seem to come from a far-off place.

 -Tony Morrison, ‘Beloved’


Transit Bed, 2020, Oil on linen, 78 x 60 inches


More Wall on Water, 2020, Oil on linen, 78 x 60 inches


Velvet Underpass, 2020, Oil on linen, 18 x 14 inches


Bare Teeth, 2020, Oil on linen, 18 x 14 inches


Folded Sky, 2020, Oil on linen, 18 x 14 inches


Floating Bed, 2020, Oil on linen, 20 x 14 inches

Screen Shot 2020-12-03 at 10.56.35

** All Images courtesy of the artist



Instagram: biraajdodiya

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