Making Strange brings together two striking bodies of work by Delhi-based contemporary artist Vivan Sundaram, founding member of the Sahmat Collective and one of the leading artists working in India today. The first project, Gagawaka, is comprised of twenty-seven sculptural garments made from recycled materials and medical supplies to evoke a playful yet subversive relationship to fashion, haute couture, the runway, and the brand. Gagawaka represents Sundaram’s own fictional brand and line of “strange” haute couture with highly inventive garments fabricated out of foam cups, surgical masks, x-ray-film, hospital bandages, foil pill wrappings, and more.
Gagawaka is presented in dialogue with Postmortem, a collection of haunting sculptural objects comprised of mannequins, tailor’s dummies, wooden props, and anatomical models. Postmortem questions the spectacle of Gagawaka with a wider set of commentaries about the human body and social concerns related to aging and illness. These two projects by Sundaram will be presented together for the first time in North America.
Fowler Head of Conservation Christian De Brer discusses the work he did to conserve Pill-fill (2011) by Vivan Sundaram, on view in Making Strange: Gagawaka + Postmortem by Vivan Sundaram.
Check out some behind the scenes footage of legendary artist Vivan Sundaram installing his solo exhibition Making Strange: Gagawaka + Postmortem
Sundaram discusses the works in Making Strange: Gagawaka + Postmortem by Vivan Sundaram.
Directed by Pankaj Butalia
Making Strange: Gagawaka + Postmortem by Vivan Sundaram is organized by the Fowler Museum at UCLA and guest curated by Saloni Mathur, Associate Professor in the Department of Art History at UCLA, and Miwon Kwon, Professor and Chair of the Department of Art History at UCLA. Major funding is provided by the Barbara and Joseph Goldenberg Fund, The Ahmanson Foundation, on the recommendation of Foundation Trustee Emeritus, Lloyd E. Cotsen, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pasadena Art Alliance, the Shirley and Ralph Shapiro Director’s Discretionary Fund, and Manus, the support group of the Fowler Museum. Additional support comes from Catherine Benkaim and Barbara Timmer. Public programs and educational outreach activities are made possible in part by the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation.