Xylophone, 2006

Installation view , Bodhi Art Gallery, Mumbai

Xylophone I and II
acrylic and carbon on board
116 x 82 in. I 295 x 208 cm (14 parts each)

The two multi-part paintings, titled ‘Xylophone-I’ and ‘Xylophone-II’, collectively evoke the human ribcage, comprising of swords in one case and guns in the other. These life-threatening weapons act like an armour, much like the ribcage that forms a protective covering to the lungs and the heart. What interests me is how we legitimize the use of violence by justifying it in the name of self-defence.

The weapons are embellished with life-affirming forms, paradoxical to their function as objects. Traditionally, in almost all cultures, one finds that weaponry is ironically treated as objects of artistic delight, just as in contemporary times wars are waged in the full glare of spectacular television reportage.