ARNDT is delighted to present the solo show LIKEWISE by the artist Jitish Kallat from 06 October to 04 December 2010.
Jitish Kallat’s exhibition - with its grotesque-surreal and ironic imagery - incorporating video, sculpture, photography and large format paintings, captures the psychological strains of the mega-metropolis and evoke the themes of survival and sustenance that consistently recur through his practice.
“Eat or to be eaten” seems to be the question asked by the intricately treated sculpture of a gigantic, oversized kerosene stove titled Annexation. The sculpture has on its surface over a hundred images that are recreated from those found within the porch of the Victoria Terminus building which is the nerve centre of Mumbai’s commuter action. Quite curiously, the decorative architectural friezes of this building carry several images of animals devouring each other and clinging onto various food-stuff; viewed together on a single sculpture, this turmoil is not unlike the daily grind of survival that this porch witnesses everyday.
The two large triptychs titled Baggage Claim, here seen in conjunction with Annexation, evoke this very struggle. Cars, busses, animals, people, all pile up like a crumbling cascade of narratives, interlaced with the hair of the persons, painted from pictures that were taken at railway stations. Stains and drips, descend from beneath the mouths of the bronze gargoyles, which in turn clutch the paintings in their mouths. Further a black, oily substance seems to seep out and form speech bubbles whose edges are formed by an urban horizon line comprised of factories, houses and water towers.
The backlit photograph Conditions Apply is reminiscent of schoolbook diagrams of lunar cycles; on closer observation the Indian flatbreads, rotis can be identified, representing the varied phases of the moon. Similarly, the video projection Forensic Trail Of The Banquet simulates a journey through space wherein planetary and stellar formations, galactic clusters and nebulae are replaced by hundreds of x-ray scans of food. This dark, cryptic, hypnotic space when viewed a little longer can begin to appear like floating cellular formations, suspended tumours etc. morphing the insides of the body with the dark, indeterminate cosmic space and evoking notions of sustenance, survival and mortality.
With the photo-series Chlorophyll Park (Mutatis Mutandis) Kallat literally pulls the rug out from under Mumbai’s chaotic traffic. The wheatgrass in these photo works were grown in the studio and documented like organized studio shots, following which they were composited into random street shots. At one level these appear like a sudden invasion of nature, with nourishing wheat grass taking on the black tarmac street; at another level there is a threatening and apocalyptic dimension to these pictures.
Jitish Kallat (*1974) has had several solo exhibitions in leading galleries and his work has been exhibited at museums and institutions across the world including Tate Modern (London), Martin Gorpius Bau (Berlin), Gallery of Modern Art (Brisbane), Kunst Museum (Bern), Serpentine Gallery (London), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), Palais de Beaux-Arts (Brussels), ZKM Museum (Karlsruhe), Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney) and the Gemeente Museum (The Hague) amongst many others:
Besides his engagement as an artist he also writes frequently on the subject of contemporary art. Until January 2nd 2011 his site-specific solo exhibition Public Notice 3 can be seen at “The Art Institute of Chicago”.
(Images: Jitish Kallat, Conditions Apply 2, 2010, Lightbox, 48.86 x 84.47 x 6.3 in; Annexation, 2009, resin covered with graphite, 183 x 150 x 130 cm; Baggage Claim, 2010, triptych acrylic on canvas, bronze, 243,8 x 518,2 cm; Chlorophyll Park (Mutatis Mutandis) 2010, digital print mounted with diasec face framed, 101,6 x 152,4 cm; Forensic Trail of the Grand Banquet, 2009, video projection, dimensions variable; Courtesy of the artist & Arndt)