25 August 2023–9 December 2023

Only Life, Myriad Places: Sudarshan Shetty

Ishara Art Foundation

Sudarshan Shetty's major solo exhibition marking the first survey of the artist’s moving image works and the global premiere of his latest film.

Starts 25 August 2023

Ends 9 December 2023

Venue Ishara Art Foundation

Warehouse 3


Celebrating the global premiere of the artist’s latest film ‘One Life Many’, the exhibition marks the first survey of Shetty’s moving image works, presenting rarely seen videos, multi-media installations and sculptures.

Sudarshan Shetty’s practice traverses the inner and outer realities of everyday life. Blurring the boundaries between dreams and wakefulness, memories and fantasies, objects and spectres, his works foreground the transient and ever-changing nature of all things. In Only Life, Myriad Places, one is taken on a journey into the labyrinths of the mind, captured through moving images and elaborate mise en scènes. Places, people and stories that seem familiar become estranged. Viewers are invited to contemplate whether the films are a depiction of someone’s dream, or if they are within the dream of the film’s characters.

The exhibition at Ishara features eight significant works from Shetty’s vast oeuvre, presenting his rare and deep interest in the musical and literary traditions of South Asia. In the unique form of interdisciplinarity that his practice advocates, a key motif that runs throughout the exhibition is a ‘poetics of listening’. Videos, images, objects and texts assume a fleeting presence in Shetty’s repertoire, as if they were musical notes that are at once real yet ungraspable, repetitive yet novel.

Shetty’s practice considers art beyond its museological after-life that aims to fix, reify and preserve objects for posterity. Instead, his works invoke realms of the sacred, the mystical and the mundane that are everchanging. Residues of physical objects become after-images lingering on in one’s mind as viewers move from one room to the next. By prioritizing the act of hearing over seeing in one’s experience of art, One Life, Myriad Places is a call to sense the world in multiple ways.

Only Life, Myriad Places is an artistic homage to the rich and diverse traditions of music, literature and storytelling that have travelled for centuries and are presented through contemporary art. The exhibition will be accompanied by physical and virtual tours, educational and public programmes, and artist conversations over the duration of the show.

The exhibition will be on view from 25 August – 9 December 2023 at the Ishara Art Foundation.

Image: Sudarshan Shetty, Still from One Life Many, 2022. Image courtesy of the artist.

About the Artist

Sudarshan Shetty was born in 1961 and currently lives and works in Mumbai. Trained as a painter at the Sir J.J. School of Art, Shetty subsequently turned to sculpture and installation as his primary mediums. As a conceptual artist, he is renowned for enigmatic works created from hybrid constructions, mechanical apparatuses and multi-media compositions that play on the fusion of Indian and Western traditions. His works emerge out of a rigorous study of materials and the unlikely juxtapositions of forms that belong to vastly distinct cultural spheres.