Sudarshan Shetty, Shoonya Ghar, 2016. Second-hand teak from a dismantled structure and video, 2 stills from installation.

Sudarshan Shetty

New Delhi

National Gallery of Modern Art

Sudarshan Shetty, describing his recent installation, Shoonya Ghar (emptiness is the house), has said that it “challeng[es] my own relationship with the market as an artist. Since it is a museum show, this is an opportunity to push those boundaries in my work rather than doing a retrospective, which is what I was offered.” And push boundaries he did, with élan, combining diverse mediums and materials to seamlessly blend the distant past with the present. The inspiration for this body of work came from the great 12th-century Nirgun poet, Gorakhnath, speci­fically his dohas, or couplets, that speak hauntingly of inhabitants in settlements and places. Shetty has tried to give a form and function to these lines in architectural imagery. As he says, “The structure and the images within this particular poetry can both be read as architectural in evocation. So, the first response was to build something that could be shown within the existing architecture of the gallery space.” Poems are open to interpretation, and dohas are particularly difficult to interpret given their ambiguous words and cryptic meanings…see the entire review in the print version of October’s Sculpture magazine.