The new houses of art

Feb 17 2013, 00:41 IST
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The new houses The new houses
SummaryArt has usually been confined to galleries, but now it is making its way to high-traffic areas so that more people can enjoy it in a less intimidating manner

locations would become opinion leaders for a strata below them.”

Publica has roped in many Indian and international artists such as the London-based Jeremy Hutchison, identical twins Lydia and Phoebe Lake, popularly known as The Lake Twins, Israel-born Achia Anzi, and Indian artists such as Sandip Pisalkar, Mangesh Rajguru, S Thiru and Vikrant Sharma, among others. Interestingly, there is a common thread running through all the artworks. They have been created in a way to make them “environmentally focused, socially interactive and community driven”.

Asan, a double-headed scooter sculpture by Mangesh Rajguru at the Sabyasachi@Carma store in Mehrauli, depicts the side-effects of technological developments. Rajguru has welded two scooters to give it the form of a chair. “The seven silencers of the scooter are depicted in the form of the sheshanaga, considered to be lord Vishnu’s aasana,” says Rajguru. “Vehicles of transport today have become an integral part of our lives,” he says, adding, “However, these vehicles are massive contributors to air pollution, which we need to control. I have used the scooter as a vehicle and have given it the form of a chair, which speaks the position of power, authority and politics. We enjoy power, authority and convenience over hard work, but we must not forget the side effects brought by these technological developments.”

Sandip Pisalkar’s Human Enemy Killer (HEK), on display at the MGF Metropolitan mall in Gurgaon, uses a canon, which was used to kill enemies, as an object to kill mosquitoes. “My personal experience of suffering from malaria gave me the inspiration to create a kinetic sculpture of a mosquito killer by blending technology and art,” he says. “The historically important canon, used to kill enemies, has been manipulated to have a utilitarian purpose of killing mosquitoes, thereby making the public rethink about its gory past,” he says, adding, “Whenever I see an object of ‘historical reference’, I wish to transform it through the use of technology. That means the practical context and historical references are still there, but I only try to manipulate the way of seeing that object. It enhances the expression of that particular object and thereon the viewer starts rethinking about it.”

Asked if there are any plans underfoot to turn any of the displayed installations into permanent fixtures, Modi says, “Right now, we don’t have any such plans. One reason is that for that to happen, the artworks have to

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