By Nalini Malani

Curated by Tasneem Zakaria Mehta and Johan Pijnappel

JAN 11, 2020 - MAR 31, 2020

Preview: JAN 10, 2020 at 6 pm as part of Mumbai Gallery Weekend

Presented by Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum
in association with Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai
Supported by Volte Art Projects

In this exhibition, Nalini Malani explores concepts and concerns that have preoccupied her for decades - notions of oppression and dominance, of freedom and justice. Her art pushes the boundaries of the visual and engages in an optical theatre that is a commentary not only on the present but also on who we are, where we come from and where we are going. As the pioneer of experimental art in India, she creates immersive installations, ephemeral wall drawings, erasure performances, animation chambers and her signature video/shadow plays. Her work questions the profound certainties of life, of society, of experience-persisting 'evidence', which is encountered and felt. In her practice, Malani, as an engaged witness, exerts an artistic pressure on inherited iconographies and cherished cultural constructs.


Nalini Malani secured a Diploma in Fine Arts from Sir J.J. School of Arts, Bombay, 1969 and the French Government Scholarship for Fine Arts to study in Paris from 1970 to 1972. In 2010, she was conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute. In 2013, she won the Fukuoka Prize for Art followed by an exhibition at Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum. She received the St. Moritz Art Masters Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014, the Asian Arts Game Changers Award Hong Kong in 2016, and the prestigious Joan Miró Prize in 2019. Malani has had 15 International museum solo exhibitions and her works have been acquired by 30 museums including MoMA, MET, Tate Modern and Centre Pompidou. Her latest critically acclaimed retrospective 'The Rebellion of the Dead', 1969-2017 was shown at the Centre Pompidou and Castello di Rivoli.

Free Activity | Dream Houses

Saturday, 25th Jan 2020,       11:00am – 1:00pm

If you could design your own housing complex, neighborhood, or the busy intersections in Mumbai, how would you reimagine it? Join us for a walkthrough of the Museum's collection of dioramas that showcase different types of housing, street plans and maps that hint at the evolution of Mumbai, and artist Nalini Malani's stop-motion animation video titled Dream Houses.

This will be followed by an activity and a discussion on what the dioramas and maps tell us about the life of people in Mumbai, their dreams and everyday necessities.

Free Workshop | Blackout Poetry

Saturday, 8th Feb 2020,      11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Learn to create your own poems or prose by blacking out words using current newspapers and magazines. Inspired by the ongoing exhibition 'The Witness' by Nalini Malani.

The workshop will begin with a walkthrough of the exhibition, led by the Museum's education team. Malani's artworks reflect her preoccupations with the notions of oppression, dominance, justice, and feminism. The walkthrough will highlight how the artist has incorporated poems and prose by well-known writers into her work.

Mumbai Local | Walkthrough with Nalini Malani

Saturday, 9th Feb 2020,       4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

This exhibition, curated by Tasneem Zakaria Mehta & Johan Pijnappel, features a selection of works from the last 50 years, covers a range of Nalini’s work across multiple media – painting installations, video plays, ephemeral wall drawings/erasure performances, animation chambers. It gives us a direct peek into why Nalini Malani is hailed as a pioneer of experimental art in India.

During the walkthrough, Nalini will lead us through her work displayed at the BDL Museum, sharing anecdotes of inspiration and creation that led to the works we will be seeing. Nalini Malani’s Mumbai Local session will be focused on her video/animation art. Her tryst with video, film and animation is both a playful extension of her painting and drawing, as well as a way for an artist like her to enter public life. In her session on video/animation art, Nalini will share with us her journey with the moving image, inspired by architects, theatre, myths, socio-political contexts and changing technologies.

Free Workshop | Haibun Poetry

Sunday, 16th Feb 2020,       10:30 am to 2:30 pm

Haibun poetry format combines prose and haiku - a popular short-form Japanese poetry in three lines. Haibun poems can include essays, stories, diary entries, and epiphanies. The workshop will begin with a walkthrough of the ongoing exhibition 'The Witness' and will highlight how Nalini Malani has incorporated poems and prose by well-known writers into her work.

Inspired by the artworks and the underlying themes, participants will then be guided how to write a haibun and encouraged to write their own.

This workshop will be conducted by Rochelle Potkar.

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