Courtesy the artist, New Delhi
Inspired by a site visit to Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site two years ago, Scaria’s Woodhenge, 2016 refers directly to the speculative theories about the collapse of the Mississippian civilization that was abandoned by the mid-13th century. Scaria surveys various icons of de industrialized landscapes and the comparatively new Indian trend toward suburban sprawl. The work is inspired by the migration shift and community collapse in St. Louis’ own history and current day New Delhi. The physical erasure of the remnants of the pre-historic, archeologically distinct community around Cahokia is comparable to the destruction of areas in New Delhi. Industrial-scale developments are uprooting old communities with a long folk history, destroying the "unaesthetic" architecture associated with it becomes the subject and object in Scaria’s hands. Made up of maquettes of disappearing Delhi domestic spaces, meticulously carved in wood, stacked on top of each other, then cast in steel, Scaria’s version both vertically maps the reckless civic decisions and illustrates the beauty in simplistic urban domestic habitats. This totemic sculpture stands as a monument to the building of a civilization past and as an illustration of historic and contemporary social and cultural shifts.
Special thanks to Jim and Vicki Reid of Midwest Precision Casting Co.
Sculpture Interaction Guideline: Look, But Do Not Touch
Scaria was born in 1973 in Kothanalloor, Kerala, India. He received his M.F.A. in Painting at Jamia Millia University, New Delhi, in 1998 and his B.F.A. in Painting from the College of Fine Arts, Thiruvananthapuram, in 1995. Scaria’s works have been included in a number of important exhibitions and venues, most notably the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in 2014 and the India Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, the 3rd Singapore Biennale and the Prague Biennale, all in 2011. He has had solo exhibitions at the Smart Museum of Art-The University of Chicago; The Jewish Museum, New York; Ian Potter Museum of Art-The University of Melbourne; Dubai Art Fair, United Arab Emirates; Gallery Chemould, Mumbai; Galerie Christian Hosp, Berlin; Video Space, Budapest; The National Art Studio, Changdong, Seoul; Govett Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand; Palette Art Gallery, New Delhi; and the Inter America Space, Trinidad. Scaria has also exhibited at India China Contemporary Art, Shanghai; Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei; Helsinki City Art Museum; Kulturhuset, Stockholm; National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai and at Vadehra Art Gallery, London. Scaria lives and works in New Delhi.