In collaboration with art critic Rob Perrée, Readytex Art Gallery has developed a new, informative initiative: An Eye for Art. Once every two weeks Rob Perrée discusses a work of art from the collection of Readytex Art Gallery. This time the wooden sculpture, untitled, made from soemaroeba hardwood slats, 50 cm wide, 70 cm high, 40 cm deep, 2013, by Dhiradj Ramsamoedj.
The people in the work of Dhiradj Ramsamoedj (Paramaribo, 1986) are strange creatures. In his paintings they scare you off with their large sculls and sagging faces. He calls them ‘Ordinary People’, but adds to that the significant word ‘Reloaded’. He is apparently not much taken by them. They are too materialistic. He would prefer it if their brains would keep their longings and passions under control better. Is that the reason for the enlarged brain? Are they in need of being reloaded?
Aside from his drawings and paintings, Ramsamoedj also makes sculptural work. Striking amongst those are the ‘men’: constructed from boots and colorful pieces of cloth (‘The Flexible Man’) or from thin hardwood slats. The first are reminiscent of the ‘Sound Suits’ from the American Nick Cave. They also refer to a Shaman, or rather to a carnavalesque figure who ran away from a Mardi Gras parade. Mobile, colorful, but without a face, without character. Flexible in literal and figurative sense, negative as well as positive. The wooden figures – such as this untitled one from 2013 – also suggest mobility. While in the case of ‘The Flexible Man’ there was some sort of packaging involved, this figure is empty. You can look right through him. He has no identity. He is a nameless abstraction. It is only when light shines on it, that he makes a full shadow on the wall. He is no human, at best a shadow thereof.
Dhiradj Ramsamoedj has received his training at the Nola Hatterman Art Academy. His breakthrough came in 2010 during Paramaribo SPAN, the exchange exhibition between Rotterdam and Suriname. In this he presented an installation in the home of his grandmother. Here his drawings, sculptures, objects (aluminum cups) and paintings (in a type of visual diaries), came together. An emotional whole, also because his grandmother walked through the rooms almost like some sort of performance artist.
I try to image myself, with this wooden figure blown up to more than man-sized, in a new installation. A challenging thought.
TEXT Rob Perrée
TRANSLATION Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld, 2014
Want to take a closer, personal look at this work? That’s possible at Readytex Art Gallery, Maagdenstraat 44-upstairs, Paramaribo. www.readytexartgallery.com. For more information about Dhiradj Ramsamoedj please visit the website www.readytexartgallery.com/dhiradjramsamoedj.
More work byDhiradj Ramsamoedj:
This edition of An Eye for Art has been sent as a RAG-mailing on April 09, 2014 and was published in Kunst en Cultuur in de Ware Tijd on April 09, 2014.
Because really looking at art and understanding art are not always obvious and easy to do, we hope that these regular reviews will at least offer you some insight into the process. You will get to see how a connoisseur looks at art, discusses it, and then links the work to others within the international art world.
Of course you can only truly judge a work of art when you are actually standing in front of it yourself. We therefore hope to see you soon in Readytex Art Gallery and are eager to hear what you think of this artwork, and which other works of art you find yourself drawn to. Please note that the artworks discussed are still available for purchase at the time that the review is published.
Rob Perrée is art historian and works as freelance writer, art critic and curator, specialized in contemporary (Afro-) American art, African art, Surinamese art and art using new media. His work has appeared in countless catalogues, books, magazines and newspapers. He is editor of Sranan Art Xposed, editor in chief of Africanah.org and a member of the editing team of Pf Photo Magazine. His website: http://robperree.com.