Born in 1956 in Allapuzha, Kerala, Madhusudhanan studied Painting from Fine Arts College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, and Print Making at the Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University of Baroda, Gujarat. His artistic practice flows seamlessly across various mediums in art and cinema, including video art and narrative feature film. His work confronts India’s film history, her colonial period and contemporary war politics. He is deeply concerned with war, colonisation, and man-made borders. Marxism and Buddhism have been decisive influences on Madhusudhanan’s art. Madhusudhanan’s installation of 90 charcoal drawings titled The Logic of Disappearance - A Marx Archive has been shown at the Kochi Muziris Biennale: ‘Whorled Explorations’ 2014-15, curated by Jitish Kallat, and in a solo exhibition at Baltic 39, Newcastle, as part of the AV Festival 2016. The series Penal Colony has been shown at the Venice Biennale: ‘All the World’s Futures’, 2015, Curated by Okwui Enwezor. As a filmmaker he has made films in English and Indian regional languages, as well as two silent short fictions. Significant contributions include Self Portrait (Short Fiction, Hindi, 2001) and History is a Silent Film (Short Fiction, Silent, 2006), both of which were recognized as Outstanding Films from International Festivals, by MoMA. His 2008 film Bioscope received multiple awards including significantly from the Kerala State Film Awards; Mannheim-Heidelberg International Festival, Germany; SAIFF, New York; OSIAN Cinefan International Film Festival; and the National Award (Special Jury Award).
In his filmic constructed images, the artist betrays his enduring fascination with early Indian cinema as historical medium, replicating film stills and figures from the silent era. Similarly, Madhusudhanan insists on making series of images rather than the singular in imitation of the filmic language. A particular fascination towards the technological equipment and ‘machinery of moving images’ is shown in the rudimentary forms of filmic construction. Such is a continuation of the themes explored in his 2008 feature film Bioscope. Concerned with reproduction of imagery and the succession through the moving image, the darkness held in the paintings invite the viewer into the cinematic theatre of the cruelties of global war.