Artwork: Birdsongs from the border

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Artist Reena Saini Kallat’s philosophical quest for a world with out borders continues with Blind Spots, a brand new present providing birdsongs, hybrid animals and preambles as antidote to violence and battle. Excerpts from an interview:

Artist Reena Saini Kallat’s philosophical quest for a world with out borders continues with Blind Spots, a brand new present providing birdsongs, hybrid animals and preambles as antidote to violence and battle.(Photograph|Danesh Jassawala)

Q. What can viewers count on out of your newest solo?

Blind Spots is derived from the physiological blind spot in medical literature or the lacking part in our imaginative and prescient. No two folks see precisely alike and the mind interpolates the blind spot based mostly on different data to conceptually full the hole to derive which means, which shapes our experiences. I’ve labored with the preamble to the Structure of India since 2003. On this exhibition, I am revisiting the promise of democracy at a time when most democracies are below pressure. Within the video set up, Blind Spots, you see pairs of Snellen eye charts the place one alphabet at a time seems as a fragmented recital from the preambles to the constitutions of conflict-ridden international locations. We’ve got lengthy histories as shared civilisations. Whether or not it’s India and Pakistan or Israel and Palestine, all of us primarily carry the identical aspirations.

Q. Does your fascination with themes like battle, borders and migration stem from your loved ones’s historical past with Partition?

My father, born in Lahore, moved to the Indian aspect of Punjab earlier than Partition. My father would speak in regards to the properties they lived in, however there was silence round Partition. I started re-examining the affect of the legacy of Partition when my very own expertise of Mumbai modified after the 1992 and 2002 riots. The LoC turned a recurring motif in my work, with the curiosity going past bodily borders and in direction of psychological and social limitations between folks. I consider not solely can we form maps however maps too form our perceptions of a spot. The ‘line’ is a crucial a part of an artist’s tool-kit and but, when drawn throughout territories, it might have large implications. Have a look at the arbitrarily drawn Radcliffe, Durand or McMahon Strains, dividing ethnic and non secular communities and pure kinds. By ‘Leaking Strains’ (a collection of drawings), I needed to reclaim the road again onto paper and to take a look at the tensions, forming geographic terrains with an electrical wire.

Q. What, to your thoughts, is the purpose of artwork generally?

I hope that in these polarised occasions, by means of artwork we will nonetheless discover a house to replicate upon our personal perceptual limitations. If we will tune in and pay attention extra carefully, we’ll obtain alerts from the pure world. The sound sculptures in Blind Spots are modelled on pre-radar acoustic units constructed in the course of the world wars to trace sounds of enemy plane, however I’ve changed them with birdsongs to subvert the notions of struggle by having nationwide birds of “enemy nations” singing to one another throughout borders. I’m additionally exhibiting a variety of drawings forming a globe which might be imaginary hybrids-so, India’s peacock is conjoined with Pakistan’s Chukar. I name it ‘Pea-kar’.

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