False Gods extends Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran’s explorations of Western dualisms, anthropomorphism, post-humanism and gender politics. Borrowing its title from Daniel Browning’s (ABC Radio National) recent essay on Nithiyendran’s practice, the exhibition considers idolatry and the monument in the context of figurative sculpture, religion and contemporary culture.
The exhibition is a dramatic, large scale installation of larger-than-life sculptures of multiple fictional god-like and mythological figures. They take their forms from studies of chickens, monkeys, fish and the human anatomy. While the works are primarily made from ceramic media, the artist also incorporates neon, LED, optic fibre, synthetic hair, perspex, concrete, digitally printed fabric and metal. The use of lighting as an element of expression (a vernacular typically associated with advertising as well as material and digital cultures) has been the result of collaborating with lighting designer, Mark Dyson.
The sculptural works explore ways of thinking beyond the binary models and dualisms at the heart of much Western philosophies. Nithiyendran creatively explores the potential of rethinking these with reference to Eastern and other global philosophies.
Sullivan+Strumpf acknowledge the Indigenous People of this land, the traditional custodians on whose Country we work, live and learn. We pay respect to Elders, past and present, and recognise their continued connection to culture, land, waters and community.