Double Bounce | 2019
The exhibition continues as Thukral & Tagra’s reinterprets Indian mythology through the vocabulary of ping-pong, while simultaneously pondering the meditative and spiritual aspects of play. The titular concept of double bounce, a term that dictates that a ball cannot bounce on the same side of the net twice, frames the exhibition through the delicate balancing act involved in everyday existence. Addressing mythology, spirituality, and the nature of existence through the terminology of ping-pong, Thukral & Tagra’s works rejuvenate traditional narratives and symbols to give audiences a fresh understanding of cultural matters.
1. Buddha – Study II
The exhibition opens with an ethereal, enigmatic painting, Buddha – Study II, that offers glimpses of a serene landscape composed of partial bits of sky, clouds, and mountains. A warm gradient of orange reiterates the circular form of the work, suggesting a cyclicality and impermanence to the scene.
Alluding to Buddha, the divine being intrinsic to an understanding of Indian mythological texts, the work contemplates the universal tendency in many traditions to think of spirituality in an all-encompassing, non-denominational sense.
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 213 x 213 cm (84 x 84 in.)
2. Mythological Induction – II – Kalki, Study II (10)
A series of suspended canvases narrates the story of Kalki, the final incarnation of Lord Vishnu, grouping prophecies and characteristics of the avatar into possible logical
relations. With poignant insertions of visual cues and suggestive metaphors drawn from a diverse range of cultural references, Mythological Induction transforms the conservative form of the Venn diagram into a visceral viewing experience. Probing the unconventional connection between the spiritual and the mathematical, the series reflects on how society is conditioned to think about God and prayer.
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 40 x 30 inches
It is a kinetic installation comprised of ping-pong balls softly rolling to-and-fro along steel tracks, accompanied by the gentle hum of fans. The central motif of the ball as an unsettled being, ever-moving and evolving, extends the metaphor of ping-pong to
everyday life. As the therapeutic push-and-pull motion develops into a soothing rhythm, the work has a restorative effect on the viewer, invoking the use of lullabies in easing one through the transition between wakefulness and slumber, between life and death.
Medium: Ping pong balls, power fans, tracks
4. Present Continuous
The film foregrounds the tension involved in the act of balancing one’s game as one meanders through existence. Mundane day-to-day
scenes in the city are punctuated by the action of a rapidly bouncing ping-pong ball, mirroring the ticking of time or the beating of a heart. The arbitrary, prosaic passage of time is thus juxtaposed against a relentless temporal awareness. Played continuously, the film blurs the notion of time into an indistinct loop without a clear beginning or end. Addressing mythology, spirituality, and the nature of existence through the terminology of ping-pong.
Medium: 4k film, 20 minutes
Size: Projection – variable