Tara Kelton’s works deal with altered perceptions of the world in an age dominated by the virtual, where glossy screens act as our portals into realms where geographical distances lose meaning.
According to Kelton, Time Travel (2009) is a “sincere attempt” at achieving the physically impossible —time travelling— while on a train in Bangalore. To do this, Kelton fixed a video camera to the front of a moving train car facing out of its door. Live feed from this camera was sent to a laptop placed at the back of the same car, creating a spatio-temporal flux and two simultaneous versions of the present. According to Kelton, “Situating the piece on a commuter train heightens the daily sensation of travelling through two places at one time or through two times at one place or both.”
The Creation of Adam (2014) is an installation composed of a Nokia 5230 phone frozen at the point where it repeatedly plays Nokia’s ‘connecting people’ welcome screen of two hands meeting. This recurring, hypnotic audio-visual fragment evokes several other images that begin to merge into it. One of them is The Creation of Adam, an iconic 16th century fresco by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome that depicts God in the process of giving life to the Biblical first man; his arm extended towards Adam’s in the moment before contact. By linking the two visuals, the artist reincarnates an age-old creation myth within what is a ubiquitous symbol of the spread of communication technology. But if Michelangelo chose to leave the two hands suspended in the moment before life-bestowing touch, Kelton’s work ironically extends the touch into a gesture of human contact and exchange.