The idea of trying to see the extra ordinary in the ordinary has always appealed to me. It’s something that can be actively cultivated. Sometimes it is the flap of a tent held back, or a cushion pushed next to the door--a poetic statement that can be reached with the simplest of means.
You can locate the grid in much of the work in the show. The textiles are a reductive process made by removing individual threads in the fabric. By de-interlacing the threads the structure or the grid falls apart. The typewriter drawings use the repetition of letters and type. The letters are interlaced like fabric to form a sequence of fields or grids. Erasing text from album covers to reveal hidden poems draws from 20th century avant-garde poetry and Surrealist methodologies. The repetition of dealing with these modular elements makes it possible to see them as frames in a reel of film.
The title of the show came from a discussion I had with the poet Robert Hass, when asked: What is the role of the artist/writer/poet in the current climate? He responded: “The famous saying is Robert Duncan’s: The responsibility of the artist is keeping the ability to respond. In the present climate that’s everyone’s responsibility. My wife says we should try to do something that takes us out of our comfort zone every day. For me that tax is too high, so I try three days a week.”
Ajit Chauhan (b. 1981) lives in the sanctuary city of San Francisco, California. His work has been exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London, White Columns NY, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, the Berkeley Art Museum, Jack Hanley Gallery, Annarumma Gallery Naples, Italy, SVIT Prague, Czech Republic, and most recently the KMAC Museum in Louisville, Kentucky. His work is concurrently being shown at Fused Space in the exhibition Seven Places of the Mind curated by Margaret Tedesco.