Jitish Kalat Giant Spiral Installation In Manchester Mumbai Chand London

Chand Jitish Kalat’s giant spiral installation in Manchester, Mumbai, and London links climate change and the cosmos. Dominating the massive Georgian-era quadrangle of London’s Somerset House for the next two months is an outdoor installation by Mumbai-based artist Jitish Kalat, his first public commission in Britain.

World Here After Here After Here Biodegradable Mesh

The World Here After Here After Here is made up of two 168-meter-long concentric spirals made of biodegradable mesh. On one side is emblazoned with the names of hundreds of places around the world. From nearby London Zoo to areas further afield, such as Toronto and Tokyo—in a graphic style that closely mimics British motorway signage. Viewers invited to navigate the work, accessible through two entry points. While walking through its interior, reading the distance between each location and Somerset House, Kalat, and his team calculated.

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Kalat said during a visit to work last evening

“It is a work that effectively plays with space by geography and slant,” Kalat said during a tour of the work last evening. It also plays with time, he points out: Many of these are places that are submerged under water, such as the ancient Indian city of Dwarka, which archaeologists believed to be beneath the Arabian Sea. This allows Kalat to comment on the pressing issue of rising sea levels, and which cities will still be above water in the coming century.

Somerset House on the banks of the River Thames

The core of Kallat is Mumbai, a peninsula built largely on reclaimed land. Currently at risk from flooding; Similarly, Somerset House, situated on the banks of the River Thames, is also at high risk of flooding. The site was once home to the board that oversaw British naval affairs around the world and whose fleet was instrumental in colonizing South Asia. Jain says, “The flag seems anti-colonial in some way.

In keeping with most of the practices of Kallat

In keeping with much of Kallat’s practice, references to stars and galaxies, both existing and extinct, link the work to “the cosmos, and draws on sacred geometry and alchemical diagrams”. Run over, and reuse in speed bumps and materials for real motorway signage. “It will go back to the streets that inspired it—what could be more circular?” Kalat says.

A big moment for contemporary Indian art

“This is a huge moment for contemporary Indian art,” says Aparajita Jain, director of Nature Morte Gallery, Kalat’s Delhi dealer. Attesting to the work’s comment on the history between India and the UK. She points to a feature of the installation that is less immediately visible to visitors A blue flag planted by Kalat on the roof of the north building of Somerset House.

John Hansard Gallery at Somerset House Commission Southampton

The Somerset House commission follows an exhibition curated by Kalat and his work at the John Hansard Gallery, in Southampton. It consisted of a series of historical letters written by Mahatma Gandhi to Lord Mountbatten, the last British Viceroy of India. The Republic of India. The show has now reached the Kochi Biennale.

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