subodh gupta: everything is inside at MMK frankfurt
subodh gupta
this is not a fountain, 2011 – 2013
installation view at MMK museum für moderne kunst frankfurt am main
photo: axel schneider © MMK frankfurt

 

 

 

subodh gupta: everything is inside
MMK museum für moderne kunst, frankfurt am main
september 12th, 2014 – january 18th, 2015

 

subodh gupta addresses current conceptions of india throughout his artistic practice, using banal objects — bronze, cow dung, jute, loam, marble and stainless steel — to form connections with sociopolitical aspects of his native country; while at the same time referencing his own personal development (having grown up in a small north eastern town in india), to his professional work and creative career living in new delhi. he continues to explore these themes and their relationship to traditional values, spirituality and religious beliefs in his most comprehensive retrospective to date presented by MMK (musum für moderne kunst) in frankfurt.

 

‘everything is inside’ reflects how indian society has been shaped as a result of industry and the rapid economic upswing of the past decades, while still remaining firm in long-established customs and historic ideas. to express these ideas, gupta has conceived two site-specific installations on the occasion of his first solo exhibition in europe.

subodh gupta MMK frankfurt designboom
subodh gupta
this is not a fountain, 2011 – 2013
installation view at MMK museum für moderne kunst frankfurt am main
photo: axel schneider © MMK frankfurt

 

 

 

as one enters the central hall of the MMK 1, they are met by ‘this is not a fountain’ (2001 – 2013), a large-scale sculptural work which sees gupta using commonplace pots and pans as his medium, forming a mountain of worn-out metal. amongst the vessels and platters are water taps which extend vertically out of the mound, watering their surroundings. the piece is an expression of gupta’s interest in the uniformity of the mass-produced dishes in standardized forms; but also indicates his concern with the individual traces he has inscribed into the tableware, pointing to daily use over a long period of time.

subodh gupta MMK frankfurt designboom
subodh gupta
this is not a fountain, 2011 – 2013
installation view at MMK museum für moderne kunst frankfurt am main
photo: axel schneider © MMK frankfurt

 

subodh gupta MMK frankfurt designboom
subodh gupta
this is not a fountain, 2011 – 2013
installation view at MMK museum für moderne kunst frankfurt am main
photo: axel schneider © MMK frankfurt

 

subodh gupta MMK frankfurt designboom
subodh gupta
this is not a fountain, 2011 – 2013
installation view at MMK museum für moderne kunst frankfurt am main
photo: axel schneider © MMK frankfurt

 

Gupta_2014_Pure1_2
subodh gupta
pure (I), 1999/2014
installation view at MMK museum für moderne kunst frankfurt am main
photo: axel schneider © MMK frankfurt

 

 

 

‘pure (I)’ (1999 / 2014) is a restaging of a performative sculptural work that gupta first presented in 1999, in which the artist asked residents living in the outskirts of delhi to entrust him with utilitarian household goods which held special meaning for them. within the MMK, gupta has duplicated the field which he used as his stage in the original iteration by creating a mixture of cow dung and loam, spread over a rectangular area. in the hindu faith, cow dung is believed to possess cleansing powers, with the practice of treating land with this blend still being used in rural regions today — away in which domestic areas of land are distinguished from those used for farming or livestock breeding. upon the completion of the rectangular area, gupta dug out forms in which to fit the various pieces he had collected from the inhabitants. ‘everything is inside’ marks the first time, that ‘pure (I)’ s being shown again, and stands as a significant symbol of the artist’s exploration of everyday objects as symbols of culture-specific phenomenon.

pure-subodh-gupta
subodh gupta
pure (I), 1999/2014
installation view at MMK museum für moderne kunst frankfurt am main
photo: axel schneider © MMK frankfurt

 

subodh gupta MMK frankfurt designboom
subodh gupta
black and white, 2011 – 2013
installation view at MMK museum für moderne kunst frankfurt am main
photo: axel schneider © MMK frankfurt

 

 

 

the artistic portfolio of subodh gupta greatly alludes to themes of cooking and eating which have come to define his oeuvre which are manifestations of everyday cultural practice, but also symbols of essentiality and existence. this is not only evident in the large-scale pieces made from kitchen utensils on show, but also the indian cuisine which will be cooked on the first saturday of each that the exhibition is open — a day of the week which has been dedicated to the planet saturn, which in vedic astrology (closely associated with hinduisim) is governed by the god of shani who cann be appeased with certain foods.

subodh gupta MMK frankfurt designboom
subodh gupta
orange thing, school, 2008; all in the same boat, 2012 – 2013
installation view at MMK museum für moderne kunst frankfurt am main
photo: axel schneider © MMK frankfurt

 

subodh gupta MMK frankfurt designboom
subodh gupta
school, 2008
installation view at MMK museum für moderne kunst frankfurt am main
photo: axel schneider © MMK frankfurt

 

subodh gupta MMK frankfurt designboom
subodh gupta
school, 2008
installation view at MMK museum für moderne kunst frankfurt am main
photo: axel schneider © MMK frankfurt

 

subodh gupta MMK frankfurt designboom
subodh gupta
all in the same boat, 2012 – 2013
installation view at MMK museum für moderne kunst frankfurt am main
photo: axel schneider © MMK frankfurt

 

subodh gupta MMK frankfurt designboom
subodh gupta
date by date, 2008
installation view at MMK museum für moderne kunst frankfurt am main
photo: axel schneider © MMK frankfurt

 

subodh gupta MMK frankfurt designboom
subodh gupta
date by date, 2008
installation view at MMK museum für moderne kunst frankfurt am main
photo: axel schneider © MMK frankfurt

 

subodh gupta MMK frankfurt designboom
subodh gupta
date by date, 2008
installation view at MMK museum für moderne kunst frankfurt am main
photo: axel schneider © MMK frankfurt

 

 

subodh gupta is one of India’s most prominent artists: he paints a multifaceted picture of that country by capturing the life there with references to the Indian past and international present. he shows us an everyday reality shaped on the one hand by processes of globalization and modernization, and on the other hand by tradition and religion. his work revolves around issues that put the local in a global context and direct the focus to universal values and symbols.’ – dr. susanne gaensheimer, MMK director