Earth Families, a solo exhibition by Reena Saini Kallat, takes place at Manchester Museum, Manchester, UK from 30 September 2017 to 26 February 2018. As part of the exhibition, Sedition will present a series of digital limited edition works by Kallat, which are for sale at the Manchester Museum shop as a display of gift cards for the duration of the exhibition.
Reena Saini Kallat’s work examines the relationship between humans and their inventions and the natural world. The Manchester Museum’s collection covers both the natural sciences and human cultures; in Earth Families conceptual links are built between the different framings of nature and culture on display in the museum. Kallat draws together botany, zoology, palaeontology, ethnography, archery and archaeology to create new opportunities for meaning-making, discussion and thought.
Kallat’s works often fuse together natural forms and human-made structures which mimic or respond to nature. Examples of this fusion in Earth Families include Half Oxygen, in which a pair of lungs are woven from wires, one lung bearing the national tree of India, the other of Pakistan. Half Oxygen brings together nature and culture to draw attention to the way national identities and borders (physical and conceptual) are constructed, and to ask if they could be differently built.
Other examples of works which playfully adapt manmade forms include the Hyphenated Lives series of drawings, which adapt the formatting of botanical and zoological drawings to present hybrid creatures which are composites of species adopted as emblems of divided nation-states. Also, Chorus is a sound sculpture that adapts and subverts World War II acoustic mirrors used to detect enemy aircrafts. Chorus and some of the drawings in the Hyphenated Lives series are among several new works made specifically for Earth Families.
Visit Earth Families at Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, UK, M13 9PL. Join the opening from 4:45-6:30pm on 30 September 2017.
Image: Hyphenated Lives (Pea-kar) by Reena Saini Kallat