Metaphysical Gravity explores contemporary mobility and the meaning of home
Weeks into her masters programme at the University of Toronto, Canada, artist Tahireh Lal came across grafiti in the downtown area of the city. ‘Love is metaphysical gravity,’ it read. Two years later, as she prepared for her first solo exhibition in Bangalore, the quote resurfaced contextually, to unite a body of work that reflects upon migration, and what she describes as the ‘push-pull forces of home’.
Made up of video and audio installations and kinetic sculpture, the exhibition allows each piece to flow seamlessly into the next. Enter the gallery and you’re greeted by many different voices sounding out the word ‘bird’. “I was inspired by a meeting with a Canadian professor, in which there was much confusion about whether I was saying bird, or boat!,” explains Lal. Abundance Protected comes next, a video projection of the artist creating a kolam from the naturally occurring red, white and black sand on Toronto island. “A kolam is meant to ward off evil spirits, so this was an offering to the people of the island, a tribute to their sense of home in the face of ongoing threats from the municipal authorities,” elaborates Lal.
Discovering the magnetic properties of the black sand led to perhaps the pinnacle of the exhibition, an installation of a rotating hourglass. While some of the sand flows freely from one chamber to the next, magnetic forces hold the black grains of sand in permanent suspension. “I wanted to explore how when you enter a new place, your perception of time alters completely, because of the fear and excitement,” Lal says. While the work has emerged out of Lal’s personal experiences of international relocation, there’s much here that will resonate with anyone who has known the bittersweet nature of travel.
At GallerySKE, Langford Town. Daily 11 – 7 (closed Tuesday and Sunday). Details: 65951972
—Maegan Dobson Sippy