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Initially commissioned for Sharjah Biennial 15, the multi-channel set up Peacock’s Graveyard (2023) weaves collectively photographs and sounds that meditate on the transience of existence.
Comprised of a set of projections onto seven screens, the lyrical photographs in The Peacock’s Graveyard emerge and recede individually after which concurrently, main us on an summary journey. Forming a visible haiku throughout distinct channels within the exhibition area, these photographs are overlaid with texts; tales written by Kanwar, that draw upon obtained narratives and oral histories, mixing historical and fashionable folklore traditions with private expertise.
Providing a novel vantage level by means of which to think about collective and particular person truths, Kanwar right here employs a wide range of enhancing and staging strategies which invite viewers to mirror on non-canonical knowledge. On this means, The Peacock’s Graveyard departs from earlier documentary methods inside his work, articulating the necessity for a metaphysical re-organization of thought from which it’s doable to glimpse one other world. Kanwar’s work has at all times operated with the premise that rationality and energy can not and don’t exhaust the chances of life. Remaining critically engaged with the array of forces on particular person lives, the work presents a set of parables which extra obliquely take up questions of duty and ethos, dignity and loss.
Of the work, the artist writes that it’s “[…] not a lament or mourning, however maybe a sort of reward, a group of tales, some historical, some new, one thing to maintain by one’s aspect each day, or take alongside if going someplace, or to assist us reconfigure life, ideologies, politics, solidarities, social actions. These tales lay the groundwork for reflecting on our insufferable vanity, delusions and deep want for violence.”
Kanwar’s poetic movies and video installations have explored the political, social, financial and ecological situations of our instances, usually specializing in the Indian subcontinent. His work traces the legacy of globalization and decolonization, land use and border rights, environmental issues, human rights and free expression; and sexual violence. Interwoven all through these inquiries are disparate narrative buildings which floor his philosophical investigations. By hybrid installations which incorporate photographs, literature, poetry and music, Kanwar creates meditative works that don’t purpose to signify trauma, a lot as to seek out methods by means of them. How does a panorama comprise magnificence and violence; how does poetry stand in for proof; how do visions inside darkness engender mild and new pedagogies? Kanwar’s work appears deeply into the causes and results, and of how they’re translated into on a regular basis life and cultural types.
at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
till February 24, 2024