Subodh Gupta at Hauser & Wirth
When entering the minimal white space of Hauser and Wirth there is no escaping the looming Keralan fishing boat that confronts you. Best known for works such as Line of Control (2008) – a mushroom cloud of utensils formed of stainless steel pots, pans and tiffin boxes – this is one of the latest works from Subodh Gupta. First displayed in India’s first Biennale in Kochi, Kerala where, after a winch failed, a crane had to be enlisted to install the 20m long work. The piece now resides on Saville Row (where you would hope the crane wasn’t necessary this time).
Gupta is largely famous for taking the icons of everyday Indian life and transforming them into artworks that discuss themes of global resonance such as conflict and religion. This work What does the vessel contain, that the river does not (2012) continues to make traditional Indian objects the focus, featuring pots, pans, fishing nets and the occasional chair but replacing the overtly shiny new objects we’ve seen before with those that are worn and much more suggestive of everyday life – a person’s existence bound up in the worn wooden boat. It displays a life in transit, to-ing and fro-ing, its use of Indian objects not standing in the way of its resonance with London and that odd sense of displacement that can creep in when faced with a swirling pace of life.
So if you’re in need of a moment of calm contemplation to refocus then head to Hauser and Wirth you might find exactly what you need.
Subodh Gupta: What does the vessel contain, that the river does not is at Hauser & Wirth until 27th July 2013. For further information visit the gallery’s website here.
For further information about Subodh Gupta visit his website here.