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  • Provenance

    Gallery Nature Morte, New Delhi

  • Exhibited

    Wolverhampton, Initial Access, Frank Cohen Collection: Passage to India, 15 March - 2 August 2008; London, Royal Academy of Arts, GSK Contemporary: Dark Materials, 13 December 2008—19 January 2009

  • Catalogue Essay

    Throughout an acclaimed career encompassing a wide range of media, T. V. Santhosh deals with the violence and injustice of terrorism and war. As the present lot attests, creating an oeuvre around the everyday realities of our broken world allows the artist to make poignant political statements. In dealing with the American nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, T. V. Santhosh’s evocative large-scale multimedia installation tackles one of the one most controversial and significant moments in world history. Deeply layered in artistic and historical meaning, Counting Down is one of the most accomplished and important works to date from an influential figure in the Indian contemporary art world.
    Counting Down is comprised of 30 identical chrome-bodied guard dogs, standing in rows of six across and five deep. These quintessential symbols of loyalty and faithfulness keep a silent, fixed vigil over three slowly-scrolling digital text displays, whose glimmering red lights reflect off their chrome flanks like constellations in a night sky. As it endlessly loops, the text recounts the eyewitness testimony of Yoshitaka Kawamoto, who at the age of thirteen was sitting in his classroom when the city of Hiroshima fell into an atomic firestorm. It is a story of a day transformed into night, a single moment exploding into a fireball beyond reckoning. Mounted on the back of each metallic, modern Cerberus is a clock apparatus with another red digital display, this one a reference to the use of dogs as suicide bombers in World War II (when the Soviets strapped explosives to their backs and sent them out to destroy tanks). The numbers count down out of synch – some for one minute, some for over an hour – and repeat themselves, thereby invoking the eventuality of the end of time.

24

Counting Down

2008
Thirty fibreglass dogs, steel, L.E.D. counters, L.E.D. strips and paint.
Dimensions variable.

Estimate
£50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for £58,850

BRIC Theme Sale

23-24 April 2010
London