The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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The dancer in the tomb

Jehangir Jani is an artist who defies convention. The ongoing exhibition of his recent installation in latex and resin, entitled Lazarus and Anarkali, not only obliges us to face the discomforting reality of death and all the uncertainty of resurrection, but also throws our pieties into confusion by interweaving death with beauty, the elegiac with the sensuous. Jani also enters the “extraordinarily fraught territory of religious belief.” In this series, he deploys gestures associated with burial rituals normally conducted in privacy. He draws on elements of Shi’ite ceremonial to create an iconography, defying the interdict against graven images in Islam. And so he comes in several ways into conflict with the mandates of the ethnic group and religion to which he belongs by birth. Jani’s installation demands that we abandon our aesthetic preconceptions about the universality of art. His installation derives its special, unnerving subversive power, not from its aspiration to universality of meaning, but precisely because it rejects the vacuity of generic abstractions. It insists on the import of a specific religious and ethnic milieu, and the history of the development of a private self in such an ethos.

When: Till April 19; 11 am - 7 pm

Where: Galerie 88

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