From 26 to 29 September, Michelle Poonawalla brings her seminal immersive installation piece Introspection to START Art Fair at the Saatchi Gallery in London, as well as an exhibition of paintings.
Displayed in the Saatchi’s Gallery 10, Introspection combines digitally rendered visuals, audio news clips and ambient recordings, and motion sensor technology to create a multisensory immersive experience through which visitors can explore the tangibility and physical impact of digital technologies.
Poonawalla is particularly concerned with the overwhelming presence of graphic violence in contemporary life, mediated by digital technologies designed to disseminate news. Today it is possible to almost instantly connect with news and events anywhere in the world - but how do we disconnect? How do we avoid being overwhelmed, how do we learn to process or protect ourselves from repeated cycles of violent imagery, and how do we learn what to listen to amidst the noise?
“How do we make sense of the barrage of images of violence and displacement that come at us in endless news cycles? Have our senses been numbed to the extent that we unflinchingly move past these images? How do we honour the gravity of these news fragments? We need to stop and ‘introspect’ what are we doing to our future generations” - Michelle Poonawalla, The Oblique Life
The exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery marks the third time Introspection has been presented to the public. The piece was first shown at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in late 2018; it was then on display at Alserkal Avenue, Dubai during Art Week Dubai in March 2019.
Freedom, 2019 - acrylic on canvas with projection mapping
Alongside Introspection, Poonawalla presents a parallel exhibition of three new painting and video works at Saatchi. Freedom is an acrylic painting on canvas; part of the making process involved projection mapping. Peace and Love are two video works displayed on LED screens. The works give insight into the breadth of the artist’s practice and what drives her to make her work. They combine the delicate and fragile with the powerful and provocative, creating a space for reflection on power and fragility, permanence and transience.
Digital editions of Peace, Love, and a third work, Hope, are available on Sedition from 25 September as part of a collection titled Introspection.
On 26 September at midday Poonawalla will speak about her experience of combining art practice and digital media as part of Art and Digital Technology: Practitioners at the Frontier, a group discussion in Gallery 3 about the integration of digital technology into art making, curation and exhibition. Other speakers include Rory Blain, Director of Sedition; Wilhemina Madeley, Project and Exhibitions Manager at AcuteArt, and Dr. Rory Hyde, Curator of Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism at the V&A Museum.
Top image: Introspection by Michelle Poonawalla, installation.
The exhibition of work by Michelle Poonawalla START Art Fair is at Saatchi Gallery, Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 4RY from 26 to 29 September with a VIP Preview on 25 September.