An exhibition of recent works by Suruchi Choksi and Rithika Merchant, “RELIQUARIES” takes a closer look at how we construct and envision our pasts, both collective and personal. Through their respective processes both artists are able to uniquely capture two aspects of recollecting that are radically different, yet inextricably linked to each other.
In Suruchi’s photographs, printed on aluminum, as well as in her six-channel video installation, she toys with the idea of photographs being a conductor in the orchestration of our own personal memory. Her distressed and distorted personal photographs tell a story that has evolved over time, both physically and emotionally. She delves into each layer of the image, assuming that no picture, and no story, is absolute at any given time, for it is seen through filters that every individual carries in their mind’s eyes.
Rithika’s characters hark back to a sense of belief in ritual, with each intricate watercolour building a mystical narrative from one image to the next. An inherent feminism exists in her decoration undermining the minimalism of modernity that views a woman just as a muse. Her use of cut out; almost puzzle-like pieces effortlessly permits us to piece together a narrative, using some of our own magical thinking.