Nalini Malani

In Search of Vanished Blood

Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Massachusetts

June 29 – October 16, 2016

Press Release

The Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston will present Nalini Malani: In Search of Vanished Blood, featuring Malani's large-scale video/shadow play that premiered in dOCUMENTA 13 and at Galerie Lelong New York in 2013, as well as a selection of works on paper.

In Search of Vanished Blood (2012) draws from Malani's experience as a refugee in India during the partition of India and Pakistan, exploring the violence, misogyny, and politics of national identity that result from a legacy of colonialism and de-colonization. The title is borrowed from the Urdu poem Lahu Ka Surag and is inspired by Christa Wolf's novel, Cassandra, about a struggling female artist and visionary. Committed to the role of the artist as social activist, Malani focuses on creating dynamic visual stories about those who have been ignored, forgotten, or marginalized by history.

Combining imagery from Eastern and Western cultures, with sound, projected image, and light, In Search of Vanished Blood is an enthralling, immersive experience. The work comprises six 11-minute video projections streamed around the room through five clear Mylar cylinders, hand-painted with a variety of cultural and historical iconography. As the Mylar cylinders rotate, the colorful and layered imagery is projected onto the walls, creating an environment reminiscent of lantern slide presentations and other proto-cinema experiments in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The exhibition is organized by Eva Respini, Barbara Lee Chief Curator, and Jessica Hong, Curatorial Assistant.

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