Jitish Kallat returns to Mumbai with an exhibition of new works titled Sightings at Chemould Prescott Road. Five years have passed since his acclaimed solo exhibitions in Mumbai; Fieldnotes (Tomorrow Was Here Yesterday) at the Bhau Daji Lad Museum, and Stations of a Pause at Chemould Prescott Road in 2011. In the intervening period Kallat has had major museum solos at San Jose Museum of art, Ian Potter Museum in Melbourne and Art Gallery of New South Wales, amongst numerous other exhibitions.
The exhibition Sightings brings together an assembly of conceptual and sensory propositions through a suite of drawings, sculptures, photo-pieces and video. Seen throughout the exhibition are the themes of time, sustenance, sleep, along with an interplay of scales and proximities, and evocations of the celestial; preoccupations that have recurred across his wide-ranging work.
Reminiscent of unknown neural networks, constellations or sacred geometries, the series of new drawings titled Wind Study (The Hour of the Day of the Month of the Season), become a device to read the complex forces of nature that inhabit the space and time of the artwork. Alternating as hand gestures and wind gestures, they could be read as transcripts of a meeting between wind and fire, between artistic free-will and determinism.
Seen up-close, the fruit’s surfaces displayed in the seven-part lenticular photographic work Sightings D19M12Y2015, begin to appear like telescopic snapshots of cosmic supernova explosions, contemplating the macro as manifesting within the micro. The sculpture titled The Infinite Episode is an assembly of ten sleeping species; a cosmic dormitory wherein they surrender bodily scale in a state of sleep. In a new single-channel video conceived on an epic scale, connecting notions of the body, sustenance, the astral and the sky, 365 rotis morph with the waxing and waning images of the moon as if aeons of time were passing through an ever-changing annual lunar almanac. Flowchart, an hexagonal vitrine displaying working drawings, watercolours, tea-washes, gouaches and sculptural elements appears as a nursery to culture speculations and advance inquiries, a map of artistic meanderings.