LondonNalini Malani: Can You Hear Me?
Whitechapel Gallery unveils a major new work titled Can You Hear Me? by Nalini Malani (b. 1946 Karachi, Undivided India; lives and works in Mumbai, India) as part of its prestigious annual programme of artist commissions.
Embodying the role of the artist as social activist, Malani gives voice to the marginalised through visual stories which often take the form of multi-layered, immersive installations, exploring themes of violence, feminism, politics, racial tensions and social inequality. Widely considered the pioneer of video art in India, Malani has a 50-year multimedia practice that includes film, photography, painting, wall drawing, erasure performance, theatre, animation and video.
Can You Hear Me?, the artist’s first UK commission, comprises 84 animations projected on the walls of the Whitechapel Gallery’s historic interior. Made between 2017 and 2020, they feature overlapping hand-drawn images and notes, as well as fragments of quoted text. In this installation Malani once more fills the former central reading room of the Whitechapel Public Library with books, transcribing quotes by influential writers such as Hannah Arendt, James Baldwin, Bertolt Brecht, Veena Das, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Milan Kundera, George Orwell and Wislawa Szymborska. This 21st century form of the artist notebook is projected directly onto the gallery’s brick walls with text and image taking the form of moving graffiti.
Curated by Emily Butler, Mahera and Mohammad Abu Ghazaleh Curator, Whitechapel Gallery, with Inês Costa, Curatorial Assistant, Whitechapel Gallery.
Accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue.
Supported by Whitechapel Gallery Commissioning Council: Dorota Audemars, Erin Bell, Heloisa Genish, Leili Huth, Irene Panagopoulos, Catherine Petitgas, Mariela Pissioti, Alex Sainsbury
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)