The NMACC has out done itself by hosting an exhibition curated by Mafalda and Roya of TRIADIC for the Toilet Paper Studio — the Italian photo magazine and interactive exhibition curating platform by the crazily talented artist duo Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari.
Cattelan, the artist and Ferrari, the photog launched their photo-based magazine Toilet Paper in 2010. Ever since, the duo is known for their crazy imagery and imagination along with their collabs with Durfam. At their biggest installation ever at the NMACC, Mumbai, they pick up from their usual favourites — food, humans, birds and snakes… and go on to deliver more!
The exhibition is on four levels of The Art House in the cultural centre. The first level, Gallery 01 is what the start point called Take A Left, Take A Right. It’s like a maze. You can start anywhere and be exposed to the huge photo montages. While you are wondering about the hugeness of the bird in front of you, the cock can just go ‘cock a doodle doo’ and make you jump out of your skin. The first interactive experience of the show. The stairs up are plastered with spaghetti, one of the studio’s fave muse.
The second level, according to me, is by far the best experience — Is There Room In The Sky? You enter a blue space with clouds on the floor, and ceiling and the wall that doesn’t have mirrors. Hanging in the midst of the dreamy sky are weird images like a sliced brain or a frog sandwiched in a burger bun or hands holding lipsticks… the size of the sculptures and their impact amazes you. You actually feel you are in the skies amidst some bizarre images thrown up by your brain.
The third level is called A House Is A Building That People Live In. This place opens to you with a Fiat plastered with the familiar spaghetti and a crocodile on the lawns. The crocodile has plastic bananas in its mouth, and you know you are in for more surprises. It is a proper house with bedroom, kitchen cum dining, bathroom… the works. You will see more of spaghetti and snakes on the wallpaper of the rooms.
Toilet Paper Studio’s famous cactus finds a place in the bedroom as clothes stand. The use of disparate elements in an eccentric but homogenous way is the USP of this floor. Be it the imagery on carpets or the huge soap or the swimming pool of bananas where you can bounce in… each one transports you to another artistic idiosyncrasy.
This level also has the Theatre, where you can indulge in seeing varied works of Toilet Paper Studio (TS) and the VR room. The VR gear helps you see all the levels at one go with the help of technology. Wear it and don’t forget to move your head every once in a while, to enjoy the surprises.
The fourth — The Control Room — is where it all started. It is nothing funky, just the basics. You have an old typewriter, old magazines and some well-lit, old-fashioned wall graffiti. You can have an aerial view of the third level as well for voyeuristic pleasures of peeping into someone’s house.
Run As Slow As You Can is an installation of myriad images, sounds and imaginations. True to its character, Toilet Paper Studio uses everyday things to create quirky, divergent displays. It’s a medley that will surely enthrall the youngsters. While most imagery and photographs are their original and Europe inspired, some like the arches and frames in the house are very Indian.
For me, the best part is that 90 percent of the installations were created in India under the supervision of TS artists. Imagery is Italian, but implementation is by Indian artists. And that’s a great homage to our local talent.