Monday, March 4, 2013

A glance at LN Tallur’s practice

LN Tallur’s critically acclaimed series at Mumbai’s Bhau Daji Lad Museum, which won him this year’s Skoda Prize was a curious continuation of the ‘Engaging Traditions’, looking to foreground practitioners who allude to traditions, albeit contemporizing their meaning and context and also to typically capture the original intentions with which the museum was established way back in the 19th century to exhibit both tangible and intangible heritage of humanity as well as its environ - something still topical today.

An accompanying note elaborated: “His work was explored through a scientific approach and typically captured the original intentions with which the museum was established that is,. He believes, when an art object is ‘museumized’, that creates a fifth dimension; which is a further addition to Einstein’s 4 dimensions (time-space). The show narrated his theory of 5th dimension.”

In apt reflection of his art processes and philosophy, his sculpture series courtesy Nature Morte in New Delhi more than a year ago employed India’s classical sculpture as their starting points. The ‘found objects’ were combined and manipulated, in order to confound the established categorizations we employ for interpreting art: figuration and abstraction, decorative and functional, traditional and contemporary, religious and secular, creative and destructive etc.

Mention must also be made of ‘Montessori: Lessons in Economics’, his first solo in Europe. It brings together a number of recent sculptures, which exemplify Tallur’s wit and deft manipulation of materials while commenting on politics and society. Having studied both art and museology, he draws from a wide spectrum of cultural references, ranging from art history, Hindu iconography, a globalized economy and popular culture.

As the title of his just concluded solo at Narture Morte’s Berlin venue implies, he tries to assume the role of a cheeky educator, setting up participatory experiments carefully alongside sculptural propositions that provide so-called solutions for the lingering economic crisis. Tallur’s highly orchestrated presentations look to control and manipulate the expectations of viewers and echo the ‘packaging’ of solutions that are known from the realms of education and politics.

An accompanying note elaborated: “A series of personal migrations from his original hometown of Koteswara (a village in the southern Indian state Karnataka), to the likes of Leeds in the U.K. and his current home Daegu City in South Korea have sharpened L.N.Tallur’s eye for the complexities of trading in cultural goods.”

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