98.5 cm x 67 cm
Original lithograph print/laser cut

where we live the flowers of the clocks catch fire and the plumes
encircle the brightness in the distant sulphur morning the cows lick the salt lilies
my son
my son
let us always shuffle through the colour of the world
which looks bluer than the subway and astronomy
we are too thin
we have no mouth
our legs are stiff and knock together
our faces are formeless like the stars
crystal points without strength burned basilica
mad : the zigzags crack
bite the rigging liquefy
the arc
towards the north through its double fruit
like raw flesh
hunger fire blood
– Tristan Tzara

This artwork, titled 1000 people/1000 homes is a laser cut lithograph, created by Mumbai based contemporary artist, Jitish Kallat in 2009.

At face value, it depicts a laser cut cityscape in the background and a dripping wet shirt with it’s inside teeming with miniature people. In its austere neutral color palette of off-whites, whites, and blacks, the image’s meaning is laid bare. A shirt drying on a clothesline is a common enough domestic sight in the 1000’s of homes of Mumbai; the 1000’s of people, each with their own narratives, on the streets of Mumbai define and are in turn defined by this city, where the whole and parts belong equally to each other.

Kallat’s artistic repertoire boasts paintings, drawings, prints, photography and sculpture installations, each trying to eke out the meaning from various aspects of life, both micro and macro. Many of his artworks have been displayed in ARARIO GALLERY in Seoul, Art Rotterdam in Holland and many more. His time at Sir J.J. School of Art in Mumbai has informed his personal style, and the tenants of pop art and Dadaism are particularly relevant influences. The quote turned clothesline in this print is an homage to Dadaism stalwart Tristan Tzara and his poem The Great Lament of My Obscurity Three, which is mentioned above.

On his birthday, we write this post as a belated tribute to one of the most prolific artists of his age.

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