The Coracle

The 'transgression of the everyday' and the idea of the 'escape myth' are two distinct spaces within which popular culture operates today, offering bandages for all our wounds; a kind of quick fix solution to all existential battles. Most of my recent work has been engaged in examining the various manifestations of this cultural construct. This sculpture is a continuation of that ongoing engagement/examination of contemporary urban living in India against the background of ever growing social and environmental chaos. I situate these works at the junction of intense differences and tensions between the universalizing image of the city and its ever-increasing desires/demands on the one hand and the imperative to acknowledge the idiosyncratic conditions of the ‘local’ on the other. As it deals with the idea of the 'escape myth,'  which is perhaps only one out of many images of our globalised society, the romantic idea/illusion of escaping dull, gray, mundane everyday into beautiful, far unknown, distant lands is one that has great appeal. One which finds its surrogate in contemporary  tourism - probably one of the long-lasting cultural phenomena of our modern age.

The coracle, conceived as a model of/for tomorrow: a post current boom scenario is basically a bath tub. Its load, a pile of stacked debris; of yesterday's [ today’s] objects of desire [and beauty ?], of constructed histories and assumed importance, intended as a get-away vehicle in search of a 'bright tomorrow' in 'some distant land', one that simultaneously implies a certain abandon or escape. An escape that today’s pop culture offers in all its fullness through music, television , movies and the internet, constructed here through an aesthetics that alludes to packaging and consumer culture. An appearance that no longer announces a real-world functionality, but rather suggests a language of survival itself [a simulated one in that] that has become increasingly interdependent with systems of design and production, characteristic of mass media culture. One that evokes incompatible associations that resist coming together through easy resolution: reality and simulation; tourism and globalism; mobile and fixed; dwelling and displacement; construction and destruction; global and local. The entire sculpture [except the mosquito] is conceived as pale white that only 'the tides of tomorrow can possibly colour'.

Krishnaraj Chonat

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