ANISH KAPOOR SCRUNCHES HIS EYEBROWS and flinches at the sound of a supersized wax bullet that isn’t hurtling his way. It’s nice to know that the sound of an artwork—‘Shooting into the Corner, 2008-09’—completed two years ago, can still alarm Anish Kapoor. Suddenly, I don’t feel entirely silly at having felt out of sorts, every 20 minutes or thereabouts, which is when the red wax bullet is shot from a seriously smooth cannon.
Before its much-anticipated release here at the Mehboob Studio, Mumbai, the sounds of this resonant work debuted at London’s Royal Academy of Arts last year. Kapoor’s mid-career retrospective at the Academy gave him membership to a club so select, he is thus far peerless. Kapoor is the first living artist to have exhibited at the redoubtable venue. At 275,000 visitors, the exhibition worked up a footfall befitting of the blockbuster show it was always angled to be.
My first encounter with a Kapoor artwork was mediated via a two-dimensional reproduction of the subtly three-dimensional work ‘When I am Pregnant, 1992.’ The work had appeared on the jacket of International Galerie, 1998. At the time I was just about familiar with Kapoor’s name; but I remember still, the lightly sculptural work undercutting the pathologies of violence.