Autograph has loaned works from the series Pattern Recognition, commissioned by Autograph for Critical Times: Dialogues in Contemporary Photography to Compton Verney's exhibition Reena Kallat: Common Ground.
This conceptual, digital collage-based body of work reflects on the global order through the trope of mobility and passports as portals to the world. While national borders have appeared recurrently in her work, here they appear not as fences or barricades hoisted on land but as constraints produced through privileges and policy. Kallat contemplates on how the pandemic has revealed not just our deep disconnect with the natural world but has exposed new boundaries between nations, and new defences between the self and the world. For her multi part photo-work, Kallat draws upon this uneven statistics and policy landscape of global mobility gap, to sketch an identikit of our divided and unequal planet.
Kallat’s solo exhibition Common Ground is a carefully woven tapestry of themes, investigating notions of borders, migration, inequity and citizenship. In Kallat’s powerful work maps, rubber-stamps, flags and the constitutions of nations become tools to address political and social boundaries and global inequalities. Based in Mumbai, India, Kallat’s own family’s past overlaps with the partition of the subcontinent into the two entities of India and Pakistan in 1947, and the division is a thread that runs through the exhibition. The friction between manmade and natural boundaries is also a recurring theme in Kallat’s work, with rivers and the types of flora and fauna officially assigned to represent nations becoming part of a glossary of signs through which she questions hierarchies of power and notions of enmity and harmony.
Reena Saini Kallat (born 1973, Dehli) is concerned with ideas that hold each other in tension evolving from her interest in political and social borders — and their violent cleaving through land, people and nature resonating with the continuing aftershocks of the Partition in India, which her family experienced. Her multifaceted practice works weaves together drawing, photography, collage, sculpture, and video to create layered enquiries into culture, history, and the role that memory plays – in not only what we choose to remember but also how we think of the past.
Kallat has exhibited widely including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Migros Museum of Contemporary Art, Zurich; Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul; SITE SantaFe, New Mexico; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Arken Museum of Modern Art, Ishøj; Helsinki City Art Museum, Helsinki amongst many others. Her works are held in collections including Musee de Beaux Arts (CA); Art Gallery of New South Wales (AU); Manchester Museum (UK); National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (TW); Vancouver Art Gallery (CA); Chau Chak Wing Museum at the University of Sydney (AU); Norrtalje Konsthal (SE); Initial Access (Frank Cohen Collection) (UK); Pizzuti Collection (CA); Burger Collection (HK); Fondazione Golinelli (IT); Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (IN); Dr. Bhau DajiLad Museum (IN); National Gallery of Modern Art (IN) amongst others. She lives and works in Mumbai, India.
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