painting dis-ease 2012

Too Many Names

(Sculptural installation: Teakwood cabinet with solid drawers and brass labels with names of skin diseases, brass knobs, handles, projector and speakers. The video projection on top of the box shows a hand scratching continuously on the surface.)

This sculptural installation titled Too many names draws from Neruda’s poem of the same title. In this poem Neruda lashes out against classification and compartmentalization and speaks of his desire to ‘confuse things’. The wooden box with labeled drawers derives from the cabinets of curiosities which became a rage in Europe post renaissance. Perhaps these cabinets were among the earliest attempts at classification in the west. Through this work I wanted to suggest the obsessive labelling and the frustratingly impenetrable density of modern medical jargon. Thus the drawers when opened turn out to be solid wood and the hands in the video projection go on scratching at the wooden top in vain. The work is a kind of cabinet of curiosities that refuses to divulge its secrets.