Nalini Malani at Musee Cantonal des Beaux-Arts opens March 19th

Posted in Nalini Malani by arariogallery on February 23, 2010

Musee Cantonal des Beaux-Arts

20 March to 6 June 2010

Public opening Friday 19 March 2010 at 18.30

Nalini Malani is one of the most important contemporary artists on the Indian subcontinent. The museum is bringing together a huge retrospective of her works of the past 15 years – paintings, video installations, shadow theatre, and theatrical collaborations. Since the 1990s Malani has presented her depiction of the women’s revolt in a country first torn between the legacy of colonialism and the ideal of third-world socialism, then dragged by globalisation into rapid political and economic transformation. Making use of figures drawn from myths, tales and religions of very different cultural background (Cassandra, Alice in Wonderland, Akka, etc.), she describes scenes depicting war, orthodox fanaticism, the consequences of capitalism, and the destruction of the environment in a narrative outpour that might well be described as epic.
Malani’s work is produced in cycles or polyptychs, using multiple-projection video installations. Her world is transparent and fluid, constituted by visible overlays. Nothing is fixed or set, everything is in a continual state of metamorphosis. In a maelstrom of elementary colours – blue, red, yellow – she builds up a profusion of figures, bodies and disparate elements taken from the most diverse animate and inanimate worlds: fragments of machines, planes, tadpoles, larvae, worms, foetuses, winged creatures, monsters, and anonymous and recognisable figures, all liquid, permeable bodies. In Malani’s work, blood-vessels, bones, brain and internal organs float outside the body, both volatile and exploded (as a result of the Splitting), and thus a network of multiple contacts, an “interface” in today’s terms, where the I and the Other no longer form a legitimate antinomy.

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