Installation view, Nalini Malani: In Search of Vanished Blood, The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, 2016. Photo by Danita Jo. © 2016 Nalini Malani
A work of spellbinding beauty, In Search of Vanished Blood is a seminal installation by one of India’s leading artists.
Nalini Malani (b. 1946, Karachi) is India’s foremost video and installation artist and a committed activist for women’s rights. Currently living and working in Mumbai, Malani came to India as a refugee during the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan, an experience that deeply informs her work. This exhibition centers on Malani’s signature multimedia installation, In Search of Vanished Blood (2012), the title of which comes from a poem by the revolutionary Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz. The installation is inspired by East German writer and critic Christa Wolf’s 1984 novel Cassandra, about a struggling female artist and visionary. 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, which hang in the center of the room. As the Mylar cylinders rotate, the colorful and layered imagery is projected onto the walls, creating a magical environment reminiscent of lantern slide presentations and other proto-cinema experiments in the 18th and 19th centuries. The presentation of Malani’s immersive video installation will be accompanied by a selection of related works on paper.