January 14, 2023 (IANSlife) Well-known contemporary multi-media artist, Subodh Gupta, opens the new year with Sangam at Le Bon Marché, Left Bank, a Parisian store with an upscale ambiance and a refined selection of high-end goods and services that make it the most selective in addition to being one of the first contemporary department stores. From January 9 through February 19, 2023, the installations will be on display.
Sangam, a word the literal meaning of which is ‘confluence’ is derived from Hindu mythology, where three holy rivers, named after Indian deities, the Ganga, the Yamuna and the Saraswati converge, making the spot a centuries-old place of worship and pilgrimage. The artist has chosen this reference and embodied it in the naming and creation of his display, as, he explains, “at Le Bon Marché people from all over the world meet, intersect and form a human river. My project is a performance in which the customers of the store will participate.” He continues, “Sangam is going to be the confluence of second-hand and new objects, the confluence of two cultures, two countries, the confluence between art and the mercantile. It is an opportunity for everyone to wonder at what confluence they find themselves at.”
Driven by the ideals of encouraging cross-cultural communication, Sangam honours Le Bon Marché as a symbol of French culture and expertise. The furniture and vintage items that make up the installations are bound together in ropes and recall French culture, reflecting Subodh's preference for turning commonplace items into art installations.
"Since 2016, Le Bon Marché has been honoring contemporary art by choosing artists of international stature such as Ai Weiwei, Joanna Vasconcelos, Prune Nourry. We impose no constraints on them other than the usual white – in homage to the Month of White, imagined by our founders Aristide and Marguerite Boucicaut – which can be subjective, as here with Subodh Gupta”, reveals Frédéric Bodenes, Artistic and Image Director of the Le Bon Marché Group, who initiated this collaboration. Subodh Gupta is the eighth artist invited as part of the ‘Carte Blanche de January.’
Subodh is eager to investigate the difficulties of this unusual historical art display location because he is used to the cuboid, white spaces of museums and galleries where he often presents his work. The setting, which is filled with white—both as a colour and as a feeling—is one that he finds to be invigorating. "My sculptures made of stainless steel and silver spread whiteness throughout the room. More than just an exhibition venue, the Bon Marché serves as a theatre for his works, he claims. He is adamant that one does not need to be an art enthusiast to enjoy his distinctive work, which spans genres, and he is convinced that Le Bon Marché patrons would respond to his work solely instinctively.
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