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Work(in)Space_Koyal Raheja: "Assembly Line"

Koyal Raheja, Fertility Landscape

Koyal Raheja, Figures

WORK(IN)SPACE: "Assembly Line," an exhibition of new works by SACI MFA in Studio Art candidate Koyal Raheja

SACI's Maidoff Gallery  
Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 6th at 6pm
On View: March 6 - 10, 2019

WORK(IN)SPACE
Koyal Raheja: "Assembly Line"

Soundwork by Christopher Norcross


The Shape of a Stain

Entering Koyal's work is a means to disorient, to test one's gaze on things and oneself. When K. began to think about the project that we finally managed to manifest here, the first suggestion that I had was to recall and observe the work of Bruce Nauman, Corridor, 1970. Furthermore, I had the opportunity to see her grow, and, behind that apparent sweetness and kindness, I was surprised to find hidden, or rather veiled, an unrevealed feeling that, paradoxically, reminded me of another work seemingly distant but rather close, Décor: A Conquest, by Marcell Broothears, 1975. 

The simulated comfort comes from a tragedy that happened in 1984, that of the explosion of the gas factory, the Bophal disaster. In 1984, at the age of twenty, I remember that it was a turning point in my life: I discovered art, I left my island to introduce myself to the world. Everything seemed possible, and I was happy. 

Discovering after many years that in that year thousands of people had been annihilated, lives devastated, marked forever, and that they are now remembered in the most disconcerting way today, with the subtle ways of vision, puts into difficulty and crisis my personal perception of things, and of the history that we, in the West, have elapsed and have always believed to control, to codify. 

The initial corridor, as we had sensed, has become a gallery space. The strange thing is that by passing the gallery, inside and out, an action is staged, one that contributes to disorient us entirely. What we see is a crisis of perception: we become and contribute to becoming, us and those around us, others, the ghosts, or in any case we become suspect figures with revealed, vulnerable traits.

Koyal evokes the presence in the form of the remaining. Every veil produces dust, powder, color becomes shadow, every veil is related to the tragedy. Assembly Line, the title of the work in the exhibition, is an evocative work of resistance to death. It states that something always remains, resists. Entering it and passing through it with our body, we feel the dust, the fibrillation between the visible and invisible. That is the intention of the work.

Text by Francesco Lauretta


(italiano)

La forma del resto

Entrare dentro il lavoro di Koyal significa disorientarsi, mettere alla prova lo sguardo verso le cose e se stessi. Quando K. ha cominciato a pensare al progetto che qui, finalmente, riusciamo ad attraversare, la prima suggestione m’è caduta ricordando la famosa e obversa opera di Bruce Nauman, Corridor, del 1970. Non solo. Ho avuto modo di vederla crescere e dietro quella apparente dolcezza e gentilezza mi sorprendeva come si nascondesse, o meglio fosse velato un sentimento subdolo che, paradossalmente, mi ricordava una seconda  opera apparentemente lontana ma in verità vicina, anzi prossima, come Décor: A Conquest, di Marcell Broothears, del 1975.

La comodità simulata nasce da una tragedia che è successa nel 1984, quella dell’esplosione della fabbrica di gas, il disastro di Bophal. Nel 1984, a vent’anni, ricordo che fu l’anno della svolta della mia vita: scoprivo l’arte, lasciavo la mia isola per introdurmi nel mondo. Tutto mi pareva possibile, ed ero felice. Scoprire dopo molti anni che in quell’anno migliaia di persone siano state annientate, devastate le vite, segnate, e rimembrarle nel modo più sconcertante oggi, con i modi subdoli della visione, mette in difficoltà e in crisi la mia personale percezione delle cose, e della storia che noi, in Occidente, abbiamo trascorso e crediamo sempre di controllare, codificare.

Ma il corridoio iniziale, così come avevamo intuito, è diventato una galleria. La cosa strana è che attraversandola, dentro e fuori, si mette in scena un’azione che contribuisce a disorientarci perfettamente. Quanto vediamo è una messa in crisi del vedere: diventiamo e contribuiamo a diventare, noi e chi è prossimo a noi, gli altri, fantasmi, o comunque diventiamo sospetti, figure dai tratti svelati, vulnerabili.

Koyal evoca la presenza nella forma del resto. Ogni velo produce polvere, fuliggine, il colore diventa ombra, ogni velo è in relazione col tragico. Assembly Line, titolo dell’opera in mostra, è un’opera evocativa, di resistenza alla morte, dice che qualcosa rimane sempre, resiste, e lo stare dentro, percorrerla col corpo di cui avvertiamo la polvere, la fibrillazione che si sconcerta tra il visibile all’invisibile, è preghiera dell’opera. 

Testo di Francesco Lauretta


WORK(IN)SPACE is a series of exhibition projects by SACI 2nd-Year MFA in Studio Art candidates, as part of the Professional Practicum Seminar. Students work directly with SACI's Maidoff Gallery to critically engage with the challenges offered by preparing an exhibition. Each week a new opening presents a coherent body of work of the artists. Working one-to-one with SACI Instructors Daria Filardo and Pietro Gaglianò, students step outside of their studio environment to rethink their work in an exhibition setting, learning to consider all the aspects, limitations, and needs of the given space to achieve the best final result.

WORK(IN)SPACE is held in SACI’s Maidoff Gallery and includes all phases of the exhibition, from the planning to the installation and opening of the show. Visitors are invited to attend the openings, or visit during gallery hours.

SACI's Maidoff Gallery Via Sant'Egidio 14 Gallery Hours: M-F 9-7pm / S-S 1-7pm

View the complete Work(in)Space exhibition calendar.

Opening Photos: Michaela Mau

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