Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sudarshan Shetty debuts at Vancouver Biennale | History of Loss

Media : Plexiglass, aluminum, steel

The casts of model aluminum Volkswagen Beetle cars are displayed in clear plexiglass boxes stacked in repeated rows, each marked with a date. The replicas are miniature, mimicking children's toy cars, a reference to a childlike desire, and nostalgic memory. Shetty diligently cast each individual car, identical, perfect and pristine, and then deliberately dropped them one by one from around 300 feet with the sole purpose to damage each one, thereby making each one individualistic.

Shetty describes his process: "The cars were manually smashed by me after being cast from a single mould, thereby representing the notion of their possible crash as an event. The dates on the vestibules represent the dates of possible crashes, but they really represent the dates to the deadline that I had in which to complete the work, which was completed in 42 days." Shetty's piece draws attention to the environment damage caused by the combustion engine by placing each vehicle into a coffin-like box, on display as a museum relic or artifact.

Sudarshan Shetty is part of a growing number of young contemporary Indian artists who are garnering international attention for work that breaks with traditional religious iconography, or uses it in new ways. Shetty makes his Canadian debut in the 2009-2011 Vancouver Biennale.

Image Courtesy - Chris Huggins & Google

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