The exhibition Quintessential by the artist L.N.Tallur is a continuation of the Engaging Traditions series which seeks to foreground artists whose practice alludes to traditions but contemporises their context and meaning. Tallur's unorthodox approach to modes of representation produces a fantasy of the absurd that unsettles the viewer even as it provokes an engagement with ideas that mirror our society's obsessions and distortions. The artist sets up a series of hypotheses to substantiate his observations. He uses a scientific approach that typically captures the original intentions with which the Museum was established in the 19th century to comment on issues that are topical today.

Tongue firmly in cheek Tallur uses Einstein's theory of relativity as his starting point to explain his universe. Using the basic premise of the tangible and intangible much as Einstein did, Tallur states that his objects acquire a “5th dimension” when they are “museumized”. What Einstein perhaps did not explain was the dimension of the aura bestowed by various canonical traditions. As we become modernised and reject old forms of beliefs new hegemonies replace the old. Has the Sanctum Sanctorum shifted to the museum? Who are the deities of our modern world?

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The artist draws on a vocabulary of traditional signifiers that have decayed and reinvents and integrates them into a language of the new world of progress and development. Shiny shallow surfaces, illusory pursuits, lost meanings jostle with the heaviness of old Burma wood and the laconic creaking of obsolescent machines to produce a disturbing reading of the present.

About the Artist