India’s first philanthropic museum, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi unveiled the recent addition to its collection, the monumental sculptural installation “Line of Control” by nationally and internationally acclaimed contemporary Indian artist Subodh Gupta.
Visually, the giant mushroom cloud composed of steel utensils refers to the horrendous dust cloud after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, while also literally alluding to the contested Indo-Pak border. The gigantic installation is made of stainless steel utensils, converting a blasé media stereotype into a poetic metaphor.
The phrase, Line of Control, invariably used to denote contested borders between disputed territories world over from Kashmir to Bosnia is shorn of its limiting and limited geopolitical rhetoric to describe the invisible-yet-concrete time-space existing between want and aspiration; between dreams and reality; between realization and faith; between night and nightmare.
“Globalization hasn’t just swept away cultural differences; it has also made us to think of history differently. Just the way geographical boundaries do not any longer count so also historical ones. In fact, history, today, is an amorphous thing. Postmodernism, by playing around with bits of past history, made itself part of that (history). Whether or not this holds true is for you to ponder. Subodh Gupta’s giant mushroom cloud of pans and pots, is worth the trip alone.”
Richard Dorment of the UK Telegraph termed Subodh Gupta the star of this show. The reviewer mentioned:
“His ‘Line of Control’ fills a rotunda from floor to ceiling in the Duveen Galleries with a mushroom cloud-shaped column of stainless steel pots, pans and kitchen utensils in a work so visually powerful it gives you goose bumps. By making his atomic blast out of harmless implements virtually every person both in India and Pakistan uses in everyday life, the artist subverts (and therefore neutralizes) the meaning of the mushroom shape – a sign for death as universally understood as the skull and crossbones.”
- In India’s Art Scene, Women Worth Less (india.blogs.nytimes.com)