In The Fullness Of Time (2022)
Location: SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA, USA
In the Fullness of Time assembles artifacts from the life and travels of a mysterious man named Narad — said to be a photographer, alchemist, polymath, and explorer — who arrived in the Europe from India around the 17th or 18th century in search of the Soma Ras, Sanskrit for “elixir of life.” Introducing viewers to Narad’s story, this exhibition interrogates canonical histories that have excluded the great explorers of the Indian subcontinent. I am trying to contextualize these rare mementos — evidence of Narad’s quest — in an attempt to enliven a forgotten part of history.
The relics — photographic portraits, heirloom photo album books, cartographic drawings and a gilded wall— connect visitors with unfamiliar histories from the Golden Age of Imperialism. The gold leafing on the wall depict patterns made by bark beetle on a pine tree branch. These patterns are called ‘Bark Beetle Colony’, just like the colonies established by Western powers in 17th and 18th centuries.
Presented within the gallery, a recorded lecture-performance video chronicles Narad’s journey, as I am examining the curiosities on display and investigating myths that the objects/photographs/ drawings invoke.
This work was developed during a 9 month fellowship program at Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral, City of Bad Ems, Rhineland-Pfalz, Germany in 2021/22.