View of “Jitish Kallat,” 2011.

View of “Jitish Kallat,” 2011.

Jitish Kallat

Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum

View of “Jitish Kallat,” 2011.

Visiting the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum during the monsoons provoked a surge of irritation: Like everything else in the city, we grumbled, it seemed this handsome building was also under construction, its gilded columns and archways obscured and the famous statue of a macho-looking Prince Albert unfairly imprisoned by crisscrossing bamboo poles. Moving closer to the marble figure, though, we discovered that his cage contained small protrusions—minute grimacing lions, unblinking owls, and crawling crocodiles pimpled its surface. For once, the scaffolding (actually resin masquerading as bamboo) was not an aberration to be ignored but the untitled cornerstone of Jitish Kallat’s exhibition “Fieldnotes: Tomorrow Was Here Yesterday.” Invited by Tasneem Zakaria Mehta, BDL’s honorary director and curator, to respond to the museum’s permanent collection of Victorian artifacts,

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