Wars, wounds and weapons: Politics is the dominant colour of T V Santhosh's first solo show in Kerala

T V Santhosh's responses to the incidents that shape his milieu are evident in the collection at display. Photo | Special arrangement

Kochi: A heap of prosthetic legs, severed hands, swords of different sizes and guns; all in wood. The installation conveys its intention instantly. It's all about war and violence. Their methods may vary, but the end result across times remains the same – ory images of wounds nobody can heal and weapons nobody can really put down.
The portrayal of violence in hues of helplessness and indifference is a theme that repeats in the show titled "History Lab and the Elegy of Visceral Incantations" by T V Santhosh. The show is on at Kerala Lalithakala Akademi's Durbar Hall Art Centre in Kochi. It is the first solo show in Kerala by Santhosh, a native of Kaipamangalam in Thrissur who has been practising art in Mumbai for long.
Santhosh's responses to the incidents that shape his milieu are evident in the collection at display. The installation featuring a caged note of Indian currency placed behind a spread of spiked nails would easily remind one of the farmers'protests and the insensitive ways the government dealt with them.

A cropped version of one of the images by T V Santhosh on display at the show. Photo: Special arrangement

Forget a few bunches of jungle geranium (chethi) flowers, beautifully featured in an otherwise disturbing setup, in one of the paintings, you may not come across much elements of Kerala in Santhosh's works. The Mumbai-based artist admits it and he knows why.
“Elements like metaphors or symbols which are stereotypical of Kerala have not come in my works. So is the case with Mumbai. I try to bring into my works the problems I inquire about. Looking at the tradition or redefining the tradition was an important revolutionary process. It is not so today. My works always originated out of a larger approach than from the approach of very personal or an approach of looking at things from a regional or national point of view,” Santhosh said during an interaction with art critic C S Venkiteswaran on the sidelines of his show.

Writer N S Madhavan inaugurated the show on May 1. Madhavan said Santhosh’s paintings capture different dimensions of meanings through tender and micro lines. The exhibition features around 30 works including paintings and sculptures in different media such as wood, oil and water colour.
Santhosh's works were displayed at biennials in Venice, Moscow, Colombo, Havana, Prague, Vancouver and Kochi. The show will be open from 11 am to 7 pm until May 20. Santhosh did his BFA from Santiniketan, West Bengal, and MA in Sculpture from MSU, Baroda.

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