Region/Concept: South Asia, Violence
Sub-Concepts: Pain, Catastrophe, Partition, Mutilation, Supplication
Description: Indian artist Nalini Malani creates video assemblages projected onto spinning Mylar cylinders casting shadows on walls.
Theory: Tails, claws, racing limbs, wagging fingers—pulsing, flickering, slow revolution, spinning, cutting, differential speeds. Fingerprints float past, unfathomable maps of a sensual cosmos out of reach, suffocatingly so. Overcome by the splitting of land, women’s bodies an incision point—again, yet again, we learn only at the end, far past the end, that there are no people here; always “the people are missing.” Revolutions of translucencies, hollow bodies of light, what silent supplication arises from the vapor of vanished blood? May the wrathful deities yet protect passage through realms of defeat and separation. Organs riven apart, what remains to follow the voice of Faiz Ahmed Faiz—“This blood which has disappeared without leaving a trace/isn’t part of written history: who will guide me to it?”—but empty, endless, phantom longing. Cassandra does not speak, merely spins, in painful compassion…or could it be an enormous, billowing rage?
Posted by: Una Chung