The large wheel that stands out in the courtyard In my recent work at the Bihar Museum of Art titled Yantra by Subodh Gupta is like a mandala but it is also an illusion as it is made up of everyday household appliances that are replicas that function as points of references that facilitate distance and disconnect from these everyday objects. Gupta, born in 1964, has used Bihar’s frameworks like poverty, illiteracy, feudalism and casteism along with migration and the rampant political culture in works that can also be seen as a composite of these discourses on identity and origin. Bihar’s history of migration and the indentured labourers that were sent to foreign lands also forms the basis of many artists’ repertoire of songs and performances and this is where Gupta’s identity too finds foothold. Commissioned by the Bihar Museum, the Yantra allows the visitor to enter a meditative space where an encounter with known everyday objects happens. It is an archive of nostalgia where repetition can induce a return to the origin.
Gupta will be a panelist at the Art and Museum Biennales- Scope and Evolution at the NGMA in Mumbai on June 3. In a unique collaboration, the Bihar Museum and the Outlook Group, seek to start a series of conversations around art and museums.