Projection, object and performance. Two catalogues caught in the act.
Strategy Sudarshan Shetty’s inspiring works afford the opportunity to aim at catalogue that is no less than a companion to the work, an object that can re-evoke the work to enable later reflection. This ambition cannot be met by the traditional catalogue, associated with ‘white-cube’ gallery art, which takes a cool, neutral approach to the artwork. Shetty’s work, immersive and rich in space and context is as much experience as object, and so invites a different treatment. Our task would be to reflect the experience, acting as windows to the work.
Design Shetty’s works evoke emptiness and longing. It’s a wistful and mystic space, so the pictures were colour adjusted to reflect this. A similar approach to colour informs both books to maintain this temperament. Apart from this, different devices are used in each catalogue.
In ‘A Song a Story’, based on a folk tale, the installation features two life-size traditional wooden structures and two videos shot on different cameras, playing simultaneously on separate screens. The design reflects that in an unusual physical form—creating a twin book in one binding. The first book acts as camera 1, which reads out the song by Rajesh Gautam. And the second book—camera 2, has the synopsis and the story that the artist has drawn on.
‘Shoonya Ghar’ is based on a poem by the 12th century poet Goraknath, and is ‘populated with the concrete symbolism of the built world and things within it, along with metaphors from nature and environment’. The design takes its cues from the layout of the installation, and aims at a similar sense of space. The book progresses like an alternate edit of the film using layout to emote and surprise.