Online Exhibition Goddesses descend.  In an apocalypse, they bare the artist Anoli Perera's social commentary of the age we live in the age of billboards and electronic illusions.

For this is an age which artfully clutters the emptiness which pervades it with signs and images.  The age of consumer engineering in which the brand images and the visual personalities we see are all consuming: where 'looks' are surrogate for substance and any individuality of 'self' is lost in the construction of 'the front', 'the surface', or 'the perfect facade'. Here, "the substance" fades away in importance, and "the superficial identity" triumphs.

"Goddesses descending is just a look at the sub-text, and not a criticising".   Anoli is quick to point out.  "We are all part of this global consumer system.  A large part of us are the images we consume and not so much our history".

Her pictures of celluloid and Bollywood goddesses, affixed with collage, delineate the fantasies of "style factories" which propel our men and women to dissipate their energies in striving to attain "that perfect body", spelt out within their reach through the medium of electronic commercials and bill boards.  Within these images, there is also the fall of disillusion in chasing the chimera, which is glimpsed from a distance, yet often than not, unattainable in reality.

The perceptions she identifies are the transitions of the non-personal urban society, which is rapidly moving away from a relatively simply mode of living, to a depersonalised and constantly changing industrial paradigm, developed through the commodity culture of "masks".

Anoli is among the more prominent of the 90's group, which pioneered the effort to bring down art from its former realms of detachedness, to become a vehicle of social reality.  Her work has been displayed at the 2nd Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale in Japan, International art exhibition in Malmo, Vaxjo, Orebro and Stockholm in Sweden, the University of Princeton and the University of California in the USA where she pursued further learning after acquiring a Liberal Arts degree from the University of Colombo.

Sunday Obsever
19 October 2003