LEVEL 2, GALLERY 21
INDIA, BORN 1971
LIVES AND WORKS IN BANGALORE
Created sporadically over five years, Narcissicon 2012 is a whimsical single channel video work that features the likeness of Kiran Subbaiah playing multiple versions of himself, presented through doppelgangers and mirror reflections. The artist’s studio provides the setting for exploration and wonder as the piece plays out in a space of magical realism. The act of artistic speculation and intellectual derive – the process that fosters an artist’s imagination and making – inspires the liminal state (half-awake, half-asleep) depicted by the work. Mimicking a daydream, the 43 minute video runs on a continuous loop without a definitive beginning or end. The video’s earliest shot dates back to five years ago with selected robotic moves conceived nine years ago, but completed much later, and some of the text was written fourteen years ago. The entire artwork can be viewed as a reflection of the Subbaiah’s artistic process inside his studio. As such, the artwork itself is a view ‘behind’ the scenes.
It is often through the act of humour and irony that Kiran Subbaiah draws out his observations of the world, using his artworks to question the relationship between function and value. He works in many genres including photography, video, sculpture and installation. Born in Sidapur, Subbaiah was trained as a sculptor at the Royal College of Art in London and the Maharaja Sayajirao University in Baroda. He has exhibited his works at Chatterjee & Lal, Mumbai; Indian Highway, Serpentine Gallery, London, Paris, Delhi, and Bombay; and the Pompidou Centre, Paris. Subbaiah has also participated in residencies all over the world including Flaggfabrikken, Bergen, Norway; Khoj, New Delhi; Stiftung Kuenstlerdorf Schoeppingen, Germany; and Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam.
Generously supported by NGV Foundation Patrons.