October 16, 2010

Nalini Malini Chemould Prescott Road, Splitting the Other, in Bombay

Nalini Malini, Splitting the Other
Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai
November 1 - 30, 2010

Chemould Prescott Road and Chatterjee & Lal, in Bombay, will showing a selection of Nalini Malani’s most significant works made in the last five years.

NALINI MALINI (b. 1946) had her first international solo museum exhibition in 2002 at the New Museum, New York curated by Dan Cameron. The Peabody Essex Museum followed with a year-long solo exhibition in 2005-2006 comprising of watercolours, drawings and artist’s books from the late eighties and nineties. An artist of international recognition, her recent exhibitions include the Venice Biennale 2007, solo museum exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art Dublin 2007 and Musée des Beaux Arts in Lausanne 2010 (Splitting the Other. Retrospective 1992-2009 [in french], March 20 - June 6, 2010).

The exhibition in Bombay is split into two parts. At Chemould Prescott Road the works are built around the seminal 50 feet multi-panel painting, Splitting the Other being the title of the show. This has a direct reference to the pogrom in Gujarat of the most horrific divide between the Hindus and Muslims post-partition. At Chatterjee & Lal, there will be an elaborate video / shadow-play called Remembering Mad Meg. Between the two galleries there will be paintings and two video installations, both having their premier viewings in India.

Nalini’s work has constantly reflected on the state of the nation. For her the nightmare of history and the dream of redemption are encapsulated in her practice of working with installations, video and painting. In Malani’s practice, the most notable instance came with the Medea project (1993-1995), which took up the theme of the Greek myth as retold with a contemporary political edge by German playwright Heiner Mueller who treated it as an allegory for the process of degradation and violence in times of colonial domination.

Unity and Diversity, the video installation, continues to work around the theme of the destruction of the Babri Masjid followed by the more recent devastation in Gujarat in 2002. For Malani to be born in the midnight hour both literally and metaphorically has constantly played a dual role in her life – growing up in the utopian Nehruvian era, as well as living through the trauma of the family’s migration from Karachi to her twin city, Bombay in India during partition in 1948. The duality of these events in her life linked to more recent political happenings since 1992 post Babri Masjid has constantly drawn her to the work of Heiner Muller, Brecht and Greek tragedies.

As a woman who has existed in a world of ‘man’-made disasters, Nalini has often referred to the stories of women, such as Aka, Medea, and Mad Meg. The work Remembering Mad Meg thus refers to the woman from Flemish folklore who leads an army of pillage to invade hell and comes back to recount the stories as depicted by Pieter Breughel in his painting Mad Meg.


Queens Mansion | 3rd Floor
G. Talwatkar Marg
Fort | Mumbai 400 001 | India


Chatterjee & Lal
01/18 Kamal Mansion | Floor 1
Arthur Bunder Road Colaba
Mumbai 400 005 | India