Ipshita Sen announces the newly released book on Nalini Malini and William Kentridge’s art of shadow play
New York: “The Shadow Play as Medium of Memory”, is an enchanting book, featuring works by two prominent artists of our time; William Kentridge and Nalini Malini. It is an exquisite comparison of their art works incorporating the use of shadow play as a medium of memory. Emphasis is placed on two significant installation pieces created by the artists for dOCUMENTA (13) Exhibition in Wassel, Germany 2012. These works were considered to be epitomes of their artistic careers; William Kentridge’s “The Refusal of time” and Nalini Malini’s “In Search of Vanished Blood”.
“In search of vanished blood” a colossal installation by Nalini Malini highlighted the prestigious 100-day exhibition. Being a refugee of the India partition, Nalini’s work explores the boundaries of gender and displacement, comprising of cultural imagery through mixed media installations. The installation involves light projecting onto painted acrylic cylinders that revolved, creating dramatic shadows on the wall. The imagery used on the cylinders was off Hindu Goddesses along side western icons creating an interesting juxtaposition between the two cultures. The installation had fantastic aesthetic dynamism stressing on the aspects of the social issues of gender, feminism, violence and religious fundamentalism.
William Kentridge’s “The Refusal of Time” was envisioned through the artist’s several encounters with composer Philip Miller and scientist Peter Galison. This video art piece explores the concept of different perspectives of time and the complexities associated with changing time. It combines drawing, music, dance, movies and concepts creating a dynamic theatrical performance, which brings Kentridge’s notion of questioning time on the pedestal.
Both artists independently have works that share similar themes of traumatic pasts, partition, apartheid, expressing these aspects of their being in their own unique but aesthetically complex ways. They have been instrumental in creating a dialogue between modernism and the historical Avant-grade, which is appealing and encourages an audience to see things through the lens of a fresh new perspective.
The Shadow Play as Medium of Memory is definitely a must read!