The concept of Faultlines draws from a sense of fissure and separation. The show is inspired by the idea of Pangaea, the near mythic supercontinent which was disrupted by faultlines that created the continental drift and led to the world’s current geographic configuration. Beyond geographic space, continents, nations and borders are critical to social identity. Metaphorically Pangaea images oneness, the absence of borders, or divisive barriers, while faultlines are a source of separation, rifts and distance.
In this exhibition three artists Zarina Hashmi, Dayanita Singh and Manisha Parekh are invited to develop the idea of distance, or proximity. That the condition of separation is physical and psychological as much as it is nebulous and abstract affirms that psychology is as much about social networks, as much as it is a function of culture.
In the context of diaspora, separation involves movement from the village community to the larger city and perhaps to a new country. Here borders, nation, continents and readings of identity become critical, and artistic or literary works often attempt to recoup a sense of loss. In many societies such stages of separation amount to an aspiration from tradition to modernity, east to west, North to South. Again it is in readings of cultural distance that ideas of inclusion, exchange, translation and perception powerfully affect the way art is made and seen.
Diaspora implies both the ‘scattering of seed’ as well as the regrouping of nationalities abroad—tenuous faultlines separating the positive from negative experiences. The singular journey of an individual, of leaving behind bhasa and boli for another language, of renouncing the mohalla and gali for the unfamiliar metropolis, creates a distinct experience, one not always articulated.
The works in this show are predicated on the issues of growth and separation, movement and hybridity. Zarina Hashmi’s migrating homes, and her memory of childhood in Aligarh, Dayanita’s Singh’s experience of unpeopled spaces in Hartford, Connecticut, and Manisha Parekh’s images of the seed and organic life expand into a visual field that references architecture, calligraphy, and domestic everyday practices.