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T.V. Santhosh: remembering victims of violence and war

Visitors to the fair are encouraged to use the space to empathise with victims of violence

A stark cell with walls built to resemble stacks of human bones has been created on Korean gallery Arario’s stand (P94/1510) by Indian artist T.V. Santhosh. A Room to Pray (2008, edition of three, E116,000) is a nightmare version of the classic white cube gallery, whose floor is a burning carpet of red LED lights streaming the transcript of a Hiroshima survivor describing her experiences of the atomic bombing. The work, presented in collaboration with Mumbai’s The Guild Art Gallery, is a reminder of the history of violence and war in modern civilisation.

Visitors to the fair are encouraged to use the space to empathise with victims of violence and think about how such events can be prevented from happening again. “It is a prayer room where someone can sit and pray for other people rather than for oneself,” Santhosh told The Art Newspaper as he was installing the piece yesterday.

Also on view with Arario are works by the Indian artist Tallur L.N. which address food shortages in places such as Asia and Africa. A squat bunker of inflated grain sacks, Panic Room (2006), sits in a corner while a human figure made of clay and coconut husks, Hangover (2006), dangles by a noose in the centre of the stand.

Appeared in TAN Daily - Armory, 88 March 2009