Opening Friday, February 18 at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, “Chitra Ganesh: Dreaming in Multiverse” features non-linear tableaux inspired, in part, by Anant Pai Amar’s long-running Indian comic book series Chitra Katha, which means “Immortal Picture stories.
The free Washington University at St. Louis’ Danforth Campus exhibit includes 13 digital prints and a selected video animation, and runs through July 25.
“I met Chitra last year and was immediately fascinated by the way she mixes myth and science fiction, weaving together the deep past and the distant future to deal with our present moment of socio-political turbulence,” says Meredith Malone, the Kemper’s curator, who proposed the exhibit. “Her work has been described as drawing-based, but she also works in collage, painting, photography, wall drawings and, as you will see in this exhibition, prints and animations.
“The practice of Chitra is informed by regular trips to India, with a particular interest in Indian cinema, music and popular culture. Combined with his upbringing in New York, these influences yield a distinct perspective, which is confirmed in the work by his blend of South Asian iconography, surrealism, science fiction, queer theory, comics, Bollywood and video game posters.
“Dreaming” leans toward the dreamlike, even the nightmarish, reminiscent perhaps of nothing more than the psychedelic underground comics of the late 1960s and early 1970s.