Prem Sahib : Side On at the Institute of Contemporary Art

Multifaceted Artist Prem Sahib has had his first international solo show at the Institute of Contemporary Art and it was pretty interesting!

 Prem Sahib,  Called Out,  2015, Wood, ceramic tiles, grout. 

Prem Sahib, Called Out, 2015, Wood, ceramic tiles, grout. 

Sahib's autobiographical work revolves around the sense of the body and the human, channeling themes of intimacy, sexuality and relationships. Sahib's spatial arrangements of objects - as seen in Taken by Your Equivocal Stance - and architectural installations seem to evoke a sense of longing and bridging. The common trait in the work, seems to be points of contact/ intersection, which provide visual metaphors for union and relationships. 

 Prem Sahib,  Taken by Your Equivocal Stance  series, 2015, Puffer jackets, hoodies, glass, steel, gesmonite, paint, Courtesy of the Artist and Southard Reid London. 

Prem Sahib, Taken by Your Equivocal Stance series, 2015, Puffer jackets, hoodies, glass, steel, gesmonite, paint, Courtesy of the Artist and Southard Reid London. 

For instance in Taken by Your Equivocal Stance Sahib presents the physical evidence of a relationship between two people - presumably two gay men. Considering Sahib's interest in exploring sexuality through minimal means, the pieces of clothing sealed in a microscope slide-like glass frame seem to be put on display as some sort of autopsy of the relation between the two men. The audience is thus invited to investigate the lifestyles of these two men. 

 Prem Sahib,  Day Timer,  2015, Bronze, pillow.

Prem Sahib, Day Timer, 2015, Bronze, pillow.

The use of visual metaphors does not end there: Through pieces like Day Timer and Basic Man, Sahib presents the audience with a visual riddle they have to solve in order to access the meaning of the work, with the aid of the poetic titles. The combination of simple, everyday-life objects stimulates and facilities the spectators imagination allowing them to understand the work. 

 Prem Sahib,  Basic Man,  2015, MAC Foundation on Zara shirt, aluminium, paint. 

Prem Sahib, Basic Man, 2015, MAC Foundation on Zara shirt, aluminium, paint. 

However perhaps fully understanding the work is not the goal of this show. Being a spectator in Side On, I found myself decoding enough information in order to grasp the greater meaning of Sahib's work and it was beautiful!