T. V. SANTHOSH            
























History Lab
, 2016, wood, metal and LED timers,
174 x 69 x 27 inches.

History Lab looks at the industrial and technological development and their changing relevance and symbolism. Santhosh recreates the wooden model of the historical colonial building which was earlier called the Victoria Terminus (V.T.) in Mumbai. The entire structure is held by giant engines on both ends, each attached with LED timers. The sculpture is marked with labels indicating years that seem historically significant. While situating this work within the way the metaphors representative of ideologies and time change their meaning in the course of transition, Santhosh draws parallels with other examples. He states, "… the history itself becomes a laboratory of conflict. Imageries emblematic of ideologies, power centres and time change their meaning in the course of changing times. Like how a grand structure like the V. T. Station that once represented colonial power changed its meaning and became almost like the heart of the city and represented the aspirations of the people. Like this how these smoke and fire spitting chimneys that were once the symbol of progress have changed their meaning if seen through new ecological perspective. In a way this work is an attempt at understanding last two centuries, reading through the high points of changes and events that eventually shaped our time."


History Lab III,
 2020, Wood, LED and stone, 65 x 53 x 22 inches

"This work is a third installment in this series dealing with the idea of understanding history through different narratives, various perspectives and by meddling around with the information which may further problematize our perceptions about the idea of where did things go wrong. It is also a process of tracing back the nature of important events that changed the course of our history. Here, this work is more like an apocalyptic vision of the world, an attempt to look into the future through the imprints of our turbulent past taken out from the history books and multitudes of imageries projected and filtered into our psyche through news reports of the present. It is more about a kind of prophetic imagination derived out of an attempt to understand the destructive elements that are deeply embedded in the dynamics of human psyche and its evolution. This work deals with an image of desolate and broken buildings, possibly destroyed in a war, attached with a timer device in countdown format that is set up for an approximate time of nearly seventy nine years in relation to an average life expectancy of human beings in this planet".







, 2018, watercolour on paper, 60 x 40 inches

From the recent series of watercolour paintings, it presents the imagery in an unusual 'theatrical' manner. The central character is seated in front of a pair of amputated limbs, holding an empty rattrap while the white rats move about. The entire scene unfolds on a mat floating against dramatic floral background. While speaking about the distinct ways in which the watercolors are conceived, Santhosh says, "In each work, the protagonist tries to identify with a different character, from an army personnel to a political prisoner; from an activist to a victim; to tell stories of current global happenings with the help of various props ranging from weapons, prosthetics, bones, rat trap, handheld flags that are sold on the streets, toys and so on. Each of these props is laden with multilayered associations and stories that we hear on an everyday basis. The stories about hate speeches, border issues, atrocities committed by men in the name of religion, its eventual human displacement and suffering can be unfolded as the narrative progresses. And in some works the background takes the role of antithesis to the centre image in the form of a tapestry of botanical plants, and in some, it assumes the role of a virtual medicinal garden in order to bring in an element of hope and healing, as an antidote to – a way to deal with the turbulent reality we live in".


Fear Nation and False Promises
, 2004, oil on canvas, 40 x 120 inches (diptych)

One of Santhosh‟s significant oil paintings from the early period when he started employing the technique of recreating the effect of colour photographic negatives, it presents an obscure scenario of unidentifiable figures working with barbed wires – reckoning the images of political conflicts. The image repeats on the right panel presenting another „shot‟, much in the manner of frames from photographic negatives. Every detail of the painting is rendered in patches of red, green, blue, brown, and a tinge of yellow – obvious elements become distorted and the obscure factors come glaring into the fore. The blazing, combustive effect manifests the element of fear.

















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