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Deep Rivers Run Quiet: Reena Saini Kallat

June 10-September 3, 2023

Kuntsmuseum, Hofstettenstrasse 14, 3600 Thun, Switzerland

The Kunstmuseum Thun presents the first solo exhibition, Deep Rivers Run Quiet, in Switzerland devoted to the work of artist Reena Saini Kallat. The exhibition is a survey of her current preoccupations in which her multimedia works address national and geographical boundaries and geopolitical border conflicts, examining their impact on the people affected and on their environments. In the Thun show, such works enter into a dialogue with the River Aare right outside the museum.

Among the themes Kallat deals with intensively in her work are the manifold effects of national and geographical boundaries as well as geopolitical border conflicts and their consequences for both people and the environment across the generations. She focuses her attention for example on cross-border disputes over water and the impact of what is known as hydrohegemony, man-made water scarcity, in frontier areas as well as entire cultural landscapes. The artist moreover arrestingly demonstrates the repercussions of colonial history on the fates of people living in border regions, evident for example in the “scars” that still persist to this day in Pakistan and India. Kallat’s work focuses on the plight of people under the impact of political and economic pressures. She places special emphasis on river landscapes, as lifelines that at once divide and connect, playing a key role in todays fragile ecological and social balance.

In her practice, Kallat delves into not only contested territorial boundaries but also social and psychological barriers. Her father’s family had to leave Lahore in the wake of the partition of India into India and Pakistan, with the resulting forced relocations between the two states.Using materials such as electrical cables, the artist renders the violence of this division palpable. But the wires simultaneously form a kind of connective tissue between people in her work, because not only energy but also ideas and information flow through them, so that they foster relationships.

To find out more, visit the museum website here.