Multi-media artist Ranbir Kaleka navigates psychosocial thresholds as non-binary possibilities, meaning he acknowledges, even inserts liminal experiences by way of movement across time and communities, histories and identities into his complexly layered compositions. He narrates the reactionary underbelly of choices and impact, both individual and collective, as seen through well-developed, representational characters investigating macro-factors like political unrest, climate change, economic inequality and other social realities. Bringing to bear his proto-cinematic practice, Kaleka often reflects on present times haunted by the stubborn after-images thrown up by fear and violence, blurring the borders between the conscious and the subconscious, and the self and the Other — the one that is excluded, jettisoned — which returns, in an act of resistance, to confront what it was othered from.
Fear of a New Dawn is a sombre body of work that recalibrates narratives of intersectionality, reframing globalized pictures in the context of the average Asian Joe. Since Kaleka’s symbolic arrangements create an atmospheric, sensory overload catering to an overlap of all our disparate but inter-connected experiences, his politics infuses with the psychology of his abject but resolutely present, often solitary, figures, who strive to fully occupy their frames. Despite the fears and uncertainties concerning the future, Kaleka reveals hope as a mode of survival even in pockets of intense disharmony.