Image of Nandi Evacuated One 1989

The souvenir-sized Nandi is dwarfed by the museum-like parquet floor. Individual plaques on stands spatially distance the viewer while at the same time they provide an overabundance of information. Some of it the viewer wants—the part which deals with its meaning in the culture it came from. Other information reveals new relationships—with Chicago and the museum—which distance the viewer. Without this information, we consume the Nandi as a “cute” aestheticized object. With it, we consume Nandi as an exotic religious artefact. By providing different kinds of information, I hope to reintroduce the idea that there is a conflict. This Nandi becomes a souvenir which can’t be possessed (known) because it is made explicit that as its context changes so does its meaning.