This sculpture is one of a series that Nicola Durvasula made as homages and reprisals of modernist masterpieces. Kinetic Sculpture remakes Naum Gabo’s work, Kinetic Construction (Standing Wave) (1919-20). In Gabo’s sculpture, a metal rod mounted on a pedestal vibrates and a line turns into a form that occupies space.
Durvasula’s sculpture replaces the upright metal rod with the consumable, ephemeral and culturally marked agarbatti or incense stick. In Durvasula’s piece, the viewer is expected to insert an agarbatti into the stand and light it, as one would in the daily ritual of puja, and then press the switch that will make it vibrate. Unlike Gabo’s uniform metal rod, the aggarbatti has a glowing tip, which describes a visually compelling arc.Translating Gabo’s sculpture into local material, Durvasula creeps into modernism’s masculine terrain, occupies it, and fills it with perfume.