Alone, Together

Alone, Together

The figures in Nityan Unnikrishnan’s works are alienated and at sea, claims Shweta Upadhyay.

The sea and a sea of people are recurring elements in Nityan Unnikrishnan’s The Way Out from the 15th of March to the 27th of April at Chatterjee & Lal, Mumbai. His beaches are zones of absurd play and strange cohabitation. His gaze shifts from the shore to the interiors of homes, capturing people in domestic settings in candid, private moments surrounded by a paraphernalia of objects and phantom images of elsewhere, evoking their emotive and psychic states. His portraits of people expose the layers of ruin and decay, the wear and tear that are accumulated and marked on their bodies over time. 

Historically, beaches have been sites of hectic activities like trade, transits, invasions, as well as places of hiatus and withdrawal from everyday routines and daily grind. In One Fell Swoop and Change of Venue, the beaches have the appearance of leisure and frolic, but shift into something sinister and counterfeit with presences that feel wrong and askew.