This Too Shall Pass

by Sudarshan Shetty

Curated by Tasneem Zakaria Mehta

The exhibition is the first of a series of exhibitions planned by the Museum to re-establish its historic connection with the Sir J. J. School of Art. During the 19th and early 20th century the position of curator of the Museum and the principal of the School of Art were held by the same person. Many of the objects in the Museum were produced by students of the School. The exhibition series is planned as a residency where artists respond to the Museum's collection and engage with its history and archives. The residency and exhibition have been conceptualized and curated by Tasneem Mehta

Shetty’s work questions the premises of making art and the values ascribed to art works. His objects take their forms from historic processes and organic beginnings, but in skillfully playing with their forms Shetty subverts the original intentions. His artistic practice has evolved a semiotics of startling and strange connections that address primal issues and comment on painful legacies. As an artist who has been deeply engaged with the life of the city, his work in the exhibition, is a profound exploration of its vulnerabilities, its dark interstices and its lost histories.


Shetty's work questions the premise of the Museum, any museum, its existence and the aura of authority it exudes. Inherent in Museum displays is a decontextualisation of the object and its elevation into an art object through new modes of presentation. In doing so the museum becomes the ultimate arbiter of taste. It confers status on both the object and the artist. The object evolves into a signifier, a window to another world, a concept or an idea. Yet contradictions abound as objects that were once markers of high taste or imbued with the sanctity of ritual, are now no longer relevant except as a “memory bank' as Shetty says. Their meaning has been voided both in terms of use and symbol. Yet inscribed into the museum's function is the necessity of retaining meaning.

Explore more about the exhibition on Google Arts and Culture page.

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