New Delhi, January 4, 2023 – Renowned multi-medium contemporary artist Subodh Gupta kicks off the new year with Sangam, a show constituting a set of original installations at Le Bon Marché, Left Bank, a Parisian store with an elegant atmosphere and a refined selection of high-end products and services that make it the most selective, apart from being one of the first modern department stores. The installations will be on display from January 9th to February 19, 2023.
Sangam, a word the literal meaning of which is ‘confluence’ is derived from Hindu mythology, where three holy rivers, named after Indian deities, the Ganga, the Yamuna and the Saraswati converge, making the spot a centuries-old place of worship and pilgrimage. The artist has chosen this reference and embodied it in the naming and creation of his display, as, he explains, “at Le Bon Marché people from all over the world meet, intersect and form a human river. My project is a performance in which the customers of the store will participate.” He continues, “Sangam is going to be the confluence of second-hand and new objects, the confluence of two cultures, two countries, the confluence between art and the mercantile. It is an opportunity for everyone to wonder at what confluence they find themselves at.”
Driven by the values of sharing an intercultural dialogue, Sangam pays tribute to French culture and know-how, represented by Le Bon Marché. The installations are made up of furniture and vintage objects found and tied in ropes, which echo French culture and Subodh’s taste for the diversion of ordinary objects that he transforms into artistic installations.
“Since 2016, Le Bon Marché has been honoring contemporary art by choosing artists of international stature such as Ai Weiwei, Joanna Vasconcelos, Prune Nourry. We impose no constraints on them other than the usual white – in homage to the Month of White, imagined by our founders Aristide and Marguerite Boucicaut – which can be subjective, as here with Subodh Gupta”, reveals Frédéric Bodenes, Artistic and Image Director of the Le Bon Marché Group, who initiated this collaboration. Subodh Gupta is the eighth artist invited as part of the ‘Carte Blanche de January.’
Subodh, who is used to the cuboid white spaces of museums and galleries where he usually exhibits his work, is keen to explore the challenge of this unconventional heritage art display place. He finds the environment to be a stimulating one, where the colour white is everywhere, not just as a color but also as a feeling. “My silver and stainless steel sculptures diffuse a whiteness throughout the space. I see the Bon Marché as a theater for my works, more than an exhibition space,“ he says. He firmly believes that one doesn’t need to be an art lover to appreciate his unique work, across genres, and is confident that visitors to Le Bon Marché will feel his work with a purely instinctive approach.
About the exhibits:
All the artwork will be made up of old aluminum utensils collected in markets, anonymous objects that have been reincarnated into a work of art. Each of them has its own character and has already lived a first life, materialized by the traces of time.
On either side of the escalators inside the space, made famous by Andrée Putman, two monumental installations will be created, (i) Sangam I – a traditional Indian pot (Confluence I) and (ii) Sangam II – a bucket with XXL dimensions (Confluence II). Both will be made up of shiny aluminum kitchen utensils, and each will pour out a stream of mirrors, reflecting the many facets of Bon Marché and its visitors. On the second floor, under the glass roof, there will be (iii) the Proust Effect (l’Ef fet Proust), a suspended circular hut, as a place open to meditation and contemplation. At the exit of the installation, (iv) a film that depicts the creation of the exhibits will be displayed, extending the visit and deepening the understanding of the approach