Indian artist Sudarshan Shetty’s new work for the Rolls-Royce Art Programme was unveiled today at the Maker Maxity in Bandra-Kurla Complex, Mumbai. The work, a two-channel film anchored by two wooden structures, is entitled ‘A Song A Story’ and will be on view from 18-21 November 2016, alongside Shetty’s existing ‘Flying Bus’ public art project.
Shetty is the first Indian artist to join the Rolls-Royce Art Programme and this commission has enabled him to explore new dimensions of his work, including an in-depth exploration of new methods of filming. The commission takes inspiration from a popular South Indian folk tale that is an allegory for artistic expression and the need to tell our stories. Two wooden structures, meticulously hand-carved by six craftspeople, represent the home and public space featured in the story, whilst the film depicts the tale of a husband and wife at a moment when a story and a song that have previously never come to light escape from her breath. Angry at being submerged and repressed, these potential narratives formed in language and music enact their revenge upon the woman by escaping from being captive in her unknown self.
The story is told and retold on multiple screens – the two channels of the video itself but also the television screen within the film, in front of which the woman has fallen asleep. Although simultaneous, the narratives playing out across these framed spaces also convey a sense of unfolding time and a sense of suspense about the potential of narrative as it comes into the world through the media of language and music.
Shetty joins renowned artists Yang Fudong, José Parlá and Mohammed Kazem as a member of the Art Programme in 2016.