Bharti Kher: Not All Who Wander Are Lost

When 1 Jul 2015 - 5 Jan 2016
Where Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
25 Evans Way
Boston, MA 02115
United States
Enquiry (617) 566-1401

Bharti Kher is the sixth artist invited to create a temporary site-specific work for the museum’s façade. The Anne H. Fitzpatrick Facade is devoted to new public art by Gardner Museum Artists-in-Residence program, with artworks changing every six months. Not All Who Wander Are Lost will be on view from July 1, 2015 to January 5, 2016.

Kher’s project reflects on maritime history, highlights her interest in mapping and typography, geodesy and colonization, and references the migration of people in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

“An atlas lets you hold the world in your hands,” says Bharti Ker. Not All Who Wander Are Lost is in part a readymade: a 1960s map from The Larousse International Political and Economical Atlas, edited by Jean Chardonnet, which Bharti Kher has appropriated, enlarged and transformed, filling the image with multi-colored bindi dots. The Hindi word Bindi is derived from the Sanskrit Bindu, meaning “a drop” or “a small particle.” Bindis are a forehead decoration worn by women and men in India.  They represent the third eye—a symbol of heightened consciousness—and are a central element in the artist’s work.

In Not All Who Wander Are Lost, the acid orange and black bindis impart a sense of emergency as they collide. These dots mark places for urgent attention and earnest conversation in our daily lives. They serve as a metaphor for the eye urging us to be aware of migrant populations as they move across shifting borders, marking the map as a constantly changing flux of truths and leaving a residue of time like a palimpsest.

Born and raised in England before moving to New Delhi, artist Bharti Kher knows something about living amid transience. The concept of home, culture and identity preoccupy her as an artist who is known for her hybrid cast sculptures and paintings.

Bharti Kher has been exhibited around the world: at the Centre Pompidou, Paris; MAXXI Museum,  Rome; the Saatchi Gallery, London; the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; and The Baltic, UK. She has had solo shows in Shanghai, Seoul, Hong Kong, Paris, London, New York and New Delhi. Kher lives and works in New Delhi. She was in residence at the Gardner Museum in 2013.

Photo courtesy of the organiser/s

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