Jitish Kallat unveils public artwork in Vienna

Stockerau (Austria), Oct 12 (IANS) Leading curator and artist Jitish Kallat has unveiled his mammoth public sculpture ‘Here After Here After Here’ in this cultural centre in Lower Austria, making him the first contemporary Indian artist to have a permanent outdoor display internationally.

The project was conceived in 2012, when the regional consortium of 10 municipalities ’10 vor Wien’, (10 near Vienna) had launched an initiative for large-scale public artworks to be installed on three selected roundabouts state to promote the independent development of the region.

Kallat was one of the three artists invited and he chose the site at Stockerau town, 20 km from Vienna, where the roundabout acts as a nodal point on the expressway and a gateway to several towns.

“Somehow more than revisiting the many photographs and videos I made at the roundabout while I was there, I was drawn to repeatedly view the site via Google Earth, as if to make sense of the place from above and afar. While making this virtual expedition a cascade of interrelations unfolded between the circular form of the roundabout and the spheroid of the globe, the form of the highway signage and the endless loop.

“It felt as if the whole artwork had developed a self-organising principle from the convergence of these diverse ideas,” said Kallat.

The six-metre high and 17 metres in diameter, the sculpture created in a “traffic blue” appears like a mammoth loop of infinitely stretched traffic signage.

Kallat, who earlier served as the curator and artistic director of the 2014 edition of Kochi Muziris Biennale (KMB), has had solo exhibitions at museums and institutions such as the Art Institute of Chicago, Bhau Daji Lad Museum (Mumbai), the Ian Potter Museum of Art (Melbourne) and the San Jose Museum of Art (San Francisco).

The artist said he drew the inspiration from many references to arrive at the compelling form, amongst them the mythic symbol of ouroboros, ancient eternal knots, alchemical diagrams and sacred geometry.

Kallat currently has a solo show at Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris and is exhibiting as part of the Dallas Arts District.

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