The Emperor’s Old Clothes | 2017

3D printed PLA Plastic and cast polyester resin

Shortlisted for fourth plinth on Trafalgar Square

What, would the departure of power from a Trafalgar Square pedestal look like? ‘The Emperor’s Old Clothes’ is an answer to this question in sculptural form.

What we intend to place on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square is a sculptured rendition of the robe of one of the relics at Coronation Park in Delhi. The robe, empty of the figure it clothed, will be the regalia left behind by an emperor who went out in search of new clothes in Delhi. What will remain on the plinth in London are the emperor’s old clothes.
Every child who has had a passing acquaintance with the legacy of Hans Christian Andersen knows the story of the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’. It is a great story — it also makes for one of the sharpest parables on the operations of constituted power. Only the child in the story can see the fact that the wielder of power is naked. Not even the emperor is aware of his own nakedness, because power often isn’t.

We all know that one of the ways in which power acts is through the optic of how it wants to be seen. We too can choose to see the raiment left behind and deduce that the emperor, perhaps, is naked.

Hollowgram| 2017 

3D printed PLA plastic, cast polyester resin, plywood and video projections 

Serpentine Gallery Outdoors | London 

Very little remains when the apparatus, the machine of authority, gets taken apart. It is a void, a spectral non-thing. What after this hollowing out of power?

 The “Hollowgram” thinks this through in immaterial form, through a play and projection of light. It is a ghostly echoof a sculpted robe that once adornedthe icon of an Imperial personage in Delhi. Today, that sculpture stands in Coronation Park, a quasi-derelict space that holds a few relics of the British Empire in India at the outskirts of Delhi. Meanwhile, the holographic quotation of its garment harks to the deformed afterlife of power. 

Click here too watch the video (email us on to request access)