Cratered Fiction is artist Soghra Khurasani’s second solo exhibition at TARQ, and features the artist’s signature woodcut prints on paper. Her new series of prints is exhibited along with some of her earlier works that explore the beginning of themes currently pivotal to her practice. Her expansive, subtle landscapes are vividly coloured in hues of red, with each print speaking in multiple layers of imagination that refuses to reveal itself with ease. Growing past the violent imagery of the volcano that dominated her first exhibition, Khurasani’s focus shifts to the dormant, yet life-sustaining crater.
Curator Sumesh Sharma, looks at the works from a critically feminist point of view, specifically using the filters of misogyny and gender inequality to contextualise the landscapes with current events in India, and in the world. According to him, Khurasani’s works engage with the landscape, and with the idea of the body as nature to prompt a discussion from their viewers. The artist’s practice as a whole can be seen as reactions to a variety of situations that women face, starting with the banal indignities of eve-teasing, to the more complex role that women play in popular Bollywood movies, and ultimately the violent realities of persecution.
In his essay, Sharma notes that “Cratered Fiction exists as a narrative of surreal landscapes that … expect a debate on the concerns they project. Soghra Khurasani presents a relay of landscapes that urge a catharsis that can come about by allowing women to be heard in equal voices.” He points out that hers is “a fictional response to atrocities that she has not witnessed but imagined in courageous empathy.”