‘The rise in the price of art doesn’t reflect its quality’

By Anushree Majumdar | The Indian Express

Stepping inside the gallery at Mumbai’s Max Mueller Bhavan to see Nalini Malani’s first solo in recent years, ‘Can You Hear Me?’, we are immediately plunged into darkness; sounds, both industrial and shriek-like, wash over the space. On each of the walls, running from one end of the room to the other, over 50 animations flash furiously at regular intervals. It’s chaotic, visceral, uncomfortable, but the Mumbai-based artist has no intention of being otherwise — the show is a response to a question and a command. If ‘Can You Hear Me?’ is a scream from a minor girl who was violently raped, whose cries went unheard, then ‘Can You Hear Me’ is all about power exerted by the government, capitalistic forces, armies and class systems over those who cannot speak out. At the gallery, Malani talks about her works, old and new, pushing the boundaries of what is art, and where can it exist. Excerpts:

6 November 2019