Spirit Eaters. Sculpture, painting and video
In close collaboration with Subodh Gupta (*1964, lives and works in Delhi/India) Kunstmuseum Thun shows the artist's first institutional solo exhibition in Switzerland. Besides works specially created for the exhibition, noted monumental works will also be on display. They emphasise very different aspects of Gupta's work. In its variety of media, comprising sculpture, painting and video, his work is deeply rooted in the traditional rural and religious Indian society. As base material for his sculptures, the artist often uses and combines objects used in daily life, such as dishes, ceramic vessels or bicycles. In the process, atmospheric images of a socially, economically and culturally complex society emerge. Gupta's oeuvre encompasses the conflict field of global and traditional values and points to their modification or even loss in a rapidly growing industrial society. Specially for the exhibition at Kunstmuseum Thun, Gupta implemented with Renunciation (2012) a replica of the current state of the Bamiyan cliffs in Afghanistan. With this work, he creates a memorial and brings to mind iconoclasm. In 2001 the largest standing Buddha statues in the world in the Afghan Bamiyan valley fell victim to a terrorist act by Taliban militants. With the destruction of these Buddha sculptures from the 6th century, one of the most important places of pilgrimage for Buddhists and an artistic world heritage was lost. This is also a very personal work, particularly so because Gupta was born in the state of Bihar where Buddha gained enlightenment. An exhibition catalogue (Ger/Eng) is published. Opening: Friday, 15 February, from 6.30 pm.