This week, chances are, that you might spot a gigantic exhibit of an earthmover while on a trip to a mall in Lower Parel or at the Carter Road Promenade. Dubbed the Neo-Monster, this public project by Vibha Galhotra works around the changing environment, politics and social structure. It is a critique on the vulgarity of excess advertising and virally growing consumerism. “This work is a social sculpture by which I am trying to tell a story about the changing environment. In the contemporary world, we are full of absurdities that we negotiate. I am interested in addressing and analysing such negotiations, which we categorise as necessities. Unable to comprehend the loss of basic values we blindly adapt to an alienating environment,” she says.
The installation has used the structure of an earthmover machine but has broken down its representation into a toy form. “We are using these machines as toys and are engaged in playing with it. This machine form has been used as a metaphor to convey the loss of natural resources at the cost of proliferating production to feed the hunger of a growing consumerist society,” she adds. This exhibit has been previously displayed at an urban village in North Delhi, a swank shopping mall in South Delhi, the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland and Colombo Art Biennale in Sri Lanka. Speaking about the location of this exhibit in a city mall, she says, “Malls are the new reality of public places and offer interaction with various classes of society.”