It’s all in the packaging at Everyday Bosedk – artist/designer duo Thukral & Tagra’s latest show at Gallery Nature Morte.
Jiten Thukral and Sumir Tagra invite you to go bananas with their branded bonanza of an exhibition. With paintings, sculptures and an installation, Thukral and Tagra use their invented brand “Bosedk” as a means to go overboard with a consumer label, making a few comments on commodification, art and homogenising globalisation along the way.
As you enter the exhibition, you can take a soft Bosedk pin, transforming you into a loyal, branded viewer. The pin is shaped like a chocolate sauce bottle with a very Punjabi twist. The sculpture on which this accessory is based is a hilarious set of shelves, with rows of similar bottles with manipulated portraits of some very “chocolate” Punjabi boys on their labels. In the first room are also two graphic design-style paintings of Bosedk products titled “Phone now for home delivery” and Discontinue use if irritation occurs.”
Slowly, you are pulled into a world in which the wide-ranging Bosedk brand dominates. In the next room is another painting and up ahead a shelf with Bosedk t-shirts bottled up in jars. As you progress further, a huge triptych titled “It rains everyday” provides fertile gazing ground with silhouettes of cookie-cutter human figures engaged in daily activities and graphic embellishments that tie the canvases together. There’s also a display freezer with white plastic Bosedk teddy bears and some vaguely dairy products. But the real centrepiece of this exhibition is the installation in the gallery’s basement level, titled “Keep out of the hands of children”,
which has been transformed into a mini-supermarket – down to a fake tiled floor. As you look at the piles upon piles of neatly packaged, multi-purpose fake Bosedk products, it’s hard to avoid slightly uncomfortable laughter. Is this the real “art mart”? With artists who brand their styles to such a degree that fakes and imitations are easily produced, galleries that package the most insubstantial of works with glossy catalogues and descriptions, and buyers who swallow art whole off the auction walls, Everyday Bosedk is a timely comment. But it has a light touch and steers completely clear of preaching. After all, with the right name and look, an all-consuming brand can be a lot of fun too. You might even want to take home a t-shirt. -Sonal Shah
Related Links: www.naturemorte.com