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This art is no junk

Delhi-based artist creates a site-specific art project from computer junk.

art and culture Updated: Jul 25, 2013 02:19 IST
Aakriti Sawhney
Aakriti Sawhney
Hindustan Times

Last year, at the India Art Fair, artist Mukesh Sharma displayed two very interesting paintings. Titled — Anarkali Disco Chali and Hello Honey Bunny, the mix media canvases had computer keys pasted on them in a circular motion, depicting the influence of technology in our lives.

Continuing with the same concept, Sharma now has worked on a site-specific art project — A Terabyte-ing Serpentine that opened in the Capital yesterday, and is curated by Unnati Singh.

A huge tree hangs inverted from the floor ceiling with thousands of computer keys pasted on the stems creating faux branches. Titled, Inverted search for immortality, it covers the entire room. “I have been using computer junk in my works for the last four years. These are not random hits, but a deliberate construction of what I see around me. In this project, I have taken the idea several steps forward. But the concept remains the same — how we are enslaved by technology,” says Sharma.

Another installation is a pack of six old-time computer monitors that are converted into planters with fresh money plant saplings popping out. “This work forces us to think about recycling,” says Sharma. Where does the junk come from? “Earlier, it was a struggle, but now, I collect it from all kinds of places,” he adds.

Lastly, Sharma shows us something that can be aptly called the showstopper — a huge snake installation that occupies the whole room in circular entwine. Made with keyboards, the installation is intimidating and fascinating at the same time. It takes a few seconds to realise the circular motion that flows out of the room through the window. “Junk keyboards are a reminder of how a new invention leads to making the older one obsolete, and how we have to deal with such monstrous serpents entering our lives,” says Sharma.

Other site-specific projects in the past
Created as an experimental space for mostly pop-up exhibitions covering design, art and architecture, Kona gives site-specificity a new dimension. Away from the rigidity of a gallery space, Kona has emerged as an alternative platform for young and emerging professionals who are experimenting with fresh ideas and challenging our conception of materials and their functionality.

Same goes with Khoj, the International artists’ organisation, which has time and again seen various site specific projects. Under their Dus Tak project, local shops in Delhi’s khirkee area were given makeovers by artists. Another project saw artist Rainer Prohaska’s multi-level kitchen, where 10 cooking stations were spread over the five levels of the Khoj building.

Catch it live
A Terabyte-ing Serpentine, an art project
On till: August 24
Timing: 11am to 7pm
Where: 105, behind Sector D-2, Vasant Kunj
NEAREST METRO STATION: Chhattarpur on the Yellow Line

First Published: Jul 24, 2013 16:49 IST