Anjali Srinivasan "Of Clocks and Clouds"

Heller Gallery

poster for Anjali Srinivasan "Of Clocks and Clouds"

This event has ended.

Drawn to the Sheesh Mahals – Mirrored Palaces – of the South Asian subcontinent, Anjali Srinivasan describes them as simple and profound: ‘convex mirrored shards encrust chamber walls and ceiling in mesmerizing intricate patterns. Each motif can be seen as a clock; a neat and orderly system that can be prized apart and solved into its smallest components. Every shard's positive contour fits into its neighbor's negative contour, leaving in-between a thin arabesque line of white plaster. Each mirrored shard is a lens that converts the inhabitant's self-image to a particle that looks like little more than dust. Yet, when a small lamp is held in the palm of one’s hand, the specular reflection held in each cell is multiplied many times into a hypnotic cloud of stars that cascades across the large chamber and illuminates it.

Ever since the Gujarat earthquake in 2000 displaced, and effectively disbanded, the nomadic community whose forefathers crafted palaces of mirrors in Rajasthan and Gujarat, I have rued the loss of the Sheesh Mahal in my country. My experiments have focused on ways to make the obsolete tradition relevant to the here and now. In 2010, I walked into a vessel store in Chennai, and I felt my disappointment of the demise of the Sheesh Mahal vanish. Every square inch of the store – gridded ceiling included - was used to suspend a shiny, curved object of stainless steel. Not in the intricate, painstaking patterns of the extinct monuments but as a massive, nebulous cloud of product and reflection whose density and form was based entirely on item stock, market demand, product design, and container size. I had encountered a palace of mirrors where each unit - a vessel - could be relocated, replaced and functional…. For me, the vessel store assumed a new-age identity of the Sheesh Mahal.

Of Clocks and Clouds is a demonstration of precisely this. I subject the optical realities of a single, basic form in reflective glass, in this case a tetrahedron, to the phenomenology of the Sheesh Mahal, old and new. I do to the surfaces of metallic vessels exactly what they do to the surfaces of the modern-day Indian vessel store, creating complex reflective arrangements that while constructed like clocks, propagate like clouds. I am interested not in what is, but what can be. The cloud, it would seem to me, is not too far away from the clock.’

Srinivasan studied Accessories’ Design at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in New Delhi and holds a BFA (2002) from Alfred University, NY and an MFA (2007) from the Rhode Island School of Design, RI, where she focused on glass & digital media. In 2010 she organized the exhibition How is this glass?, which toured in the United States & Australia in 2010-11 she also co-authored the accompanying catalogue. Her work and writing has been featured in the 2011 Skoda Prize for Indian Contemporary Art exhibition and catalogue, Art Dubai (2012) & Art India (2012) and the Superpositions (2011) exhibition and catalogue. Srinivasan is currently based in Chennai, India.



from April 05, 2013 to May 04, 2013

Opening Reception on 2013-04-04 from 18:00 to 20:00

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