I am fascinated by all these different Madras shirts, and yearn to make a dress for myself from some. But this work is about much more than fabric… it is a sociological study of modern India by Mumbai based artist Jitish Kallat who has taken hundreds of photographs of the shirt pockets of men in the largest city in India.
The western-style collared shirt with a pocket on the chest has become ubiquitous in urban India as the population of the middle class has swelled. In ”The Cry of the Gland,” Kallat lines up large photographs of each pocket, with their frequently overflowing contents, on the wall from floor to ceiling. The installation, which was displayed in Art Basel Miami 2010, also reflects the enormous population pressures the country faces today.
In an interview with the Hindu, the artist says, “I am drawn to images around me that help me understand and also question my assumptions about life. I might step close and photograph a tiny plant on a concrete pavement or the bulging pocket of a person I meet on a street or a dent on a car… these simple images have a symbolic density that uncover meanings and narratives when you prolong your gaze.”