Anamorphosis: Notes from Palestine
Anamorphosis – Notes from Palestine will be the first solo exhibition in London and the UK by the Amsterdam based Indian artist Praneet Soi. The Mosaic Rooms has commissioned Soi to create a new body of work of paintings and drawings informed by his recent and upcoming stays in Palestine. As a painter, Soi has been exploring techniques, such as silverpoint and anamorphosis, developed from his use of photographic and archival imagery. His recent audio-visual installations implement a cut and paste aesthetic to generate a polyphonic narrative. His upcoming commission for The Mosaic Rooms will expand on this work.
Anamorphosis, the technique referenced in the exhibition’s title, is a distortion of an image that allows the viewer to see it only from one viewpoint. The famous painting by Holbein The Ambassadors (1533), in which a skull in the lower part of the painting is so distorted as to appear abstract is a well-known example of the technique. Anamorphosis has also been used to depict landscapes, such as Johann Heinrich Glaser’s The expulsion from Paradise (1638). Such distortions and its resulting abstractions gain metaphorical weight when engaged with Palestinian landscapes.
The artist’s examination of the politics of representation will continue through his travels. Soi says that his interest this lens was sparked by an earlier visit, as part of a UN organised research trip in 2009, when he joined a contingent touring the region. For a week, the group travelled across the landlocked territory, visiting cities and passing through landscapes significantly marked by the territorial instability. These landscapes are also home to some of the world’s major religions. The Roman ruins dotting the landscape are a signifier that the history of occupation predates the current era.
Soi will use what he describes as a “notational methodology“ in his time in Palestine, combining a personal and intuitive approach, alongside exploring multiple points of research.
The development and realisation of this new body of work will unfold in three stages: the collection of notes and drawings in plein-air; research and selection of archival imagery in the UK; and the translation of all accumulated materials into drawings, paintings and a video and sound work in the artist’ studio in Amsterdam. A monograph including sketches and field notes will be released as a part of The Mosaic Rooms’ commission.
About Praneet Soi
Praneet Soi was born 1971, Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Following studies in India and the USA, Soi moved to the Netherlands in 2002, and has since divided his time between Amsterdam and Kolkata. His work is internationally recognized for his explorations of socio-political nuances and media representations, with his practice incorporating both traditional methods of miniature painting and sculpture, as well as time-based media such as video and sound. Recent solo exhibitions include Third Factory-From Kashmir to Lisbon via Caldas, at Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon in 2018; Notes on Labour at Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai in 2017 and Srinagar at the Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven in 2016. Recent group exhibitions include Blackout as a part of IFFR 2019 at Kunsthal Rotterdam; the touring exhibition A Beast, a God and a Line at the Dhaka Art Summit in Bangladesh, Para Site, Hong Kong and Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw in 2018; and Universes in Universes, part of the 6th Asian Biennale, Taichung, Taiwan in 2017.
Image: Third Factory – from Kashmir to Lisbon via Caldas (Installation View). Praneet Soi (2018). Museum Calouste Gulbenkian.
Exhibition supported by: