“Labyrinth of Absences”

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Falling Fables-1, 2010 Acrylic On Canvas 48”X78” (122 X 198 Cms) © Courtesy of the artist & Nature Morte, New Delhi
“Labyrinth of Absences”

A-1 Neeti Bagh
110049 New Delhi
March 8th, 2011 - March 26th, 2011
Opening: March 8th, 2011 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Mon-Sat 10-6
photography, video-art


Nature Morte is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new works by Reena Saini Kallat, entitled “Labyrinth of Absences”, after a gap of six years since her last solo at the gallery.

Reena Kallat’s practice spans painting, photography, video, sculpture and installation, often incorporating multiple mediums into a single work. She frequently works with officially recorded or registered names of people, objects, and monuments that are lost or have disappeared without a trace, only to get listed as forgotten statistics. One of the recurrent motifs in her work is the rubber stamp, used both as an object and an imprint, signifying the bureaucratic apparatus which both confirms and obscures identities.

Among the works in the exhibition will be a set of new paintings that depict monument sites in Delhi. The surface of the paintings are marked with addresses of monuments listed as protected sites under the Archeological Survey of India, that have either disappeared or have been declared lost, swallowed up by the rapidly expanding urban fabric. The works on paper are constructed from the names of people who have been denied visas on the basis of class, nationality or religion. In most cases, her images are fractured and deconstructed, creating maze-like maps - or as in the case of Synonym, a series of portraits crafted as mosaics of rubber-stamps, holding the names of people who are officially registered as missing - appear pixelated and fragmented. Other works in the show include Crease/Crevice/Contour, a set of ten large-scale photographs tracing the fluctuating Line Of Control between India and Pakistan from October 1947 to December 1948.

Two video works will also be exhibited: Silt of Seasons-I, projects the names of people who have signed the peace petition in 2004. The names are projected on to sand and are gradually blown away, suggestive of the vulnerability of the peace process itself. In Preface, the artist projects the text of the Preamble of the Constitution of India translated into Braille on to the surface of a large, opened book.

Reena Saini Kallat (b. Delhi 1973) graduated from the Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai in 1996 with a BFA in painting. An artist of international recognition, Ms. Kallat has participated in a number of group exhibitions including Maximum India at The Kennedy Centre in Washington DC; Samtidigt at Kulturhuset, Stockholm and the Helsinki City Art Museum, Finland; The Empire Strikes Back Saatchi Gallery, London; The Vancouver International Sculpture Biennale 2010; Urban Manners- 2 at SESC Pompeia, Sao Paulo, Brazil; View Points and Viewing points - 2009 Asian Art Biennale, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts and Chalo! India: A New Era of Indian Art at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo that travelled to the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul and the Essl Museum, Vienna among others. Ms. Kallat’s most recent solo exhibition was at the Primo Marella Gallery, Milan in 2009 and her last solo show in India was presented at Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai in 2008. She has had ten solo exhibitions in India and abroad and participated in a number of workshops and residencies all over the world. She lives and works in Mumbai.