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- Object: The Intermediaries
Group of various small figures,of various sizes, made of fired clay, forming an installation.
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- Bharti Kher was born and educated in Britain, and moved to India after graduating from university. Her richly varied work, encompassing painting, sculpture, everyday objects and installation, explores the paradoxes of post-colonial discourse, playing with notions of tradition and ritual in contemporary contexts.
The figures Kher uses in The Intermediaries are found objects recently made in clay and venerated during festival time in the south of India. They take the shape of gods, people, food and earthly symbols, addressing the roots of many anthropomorphic Hindu deities in nature worship.
In Kher’s intervention, these characters are broken, spliced and hybridised to create new, would-be mythological creatures, part-secular, part-deity. The artist describes them as ‘the ones who could no longer be worshipped or prayed to." They are reflective of her personal engagement with Indian culture and tradition from a diasporic standpoint. Playful and dream-like, they appear to have emerged from her unconscious.
The figures are strongly informed by the Surrealist movement and Freud’s notion of the uncanny. In 2016 The Intermediaries were shown at Kher’s exhibition, This Breathing House, at the Freud Museum in London. These hybrid creatures, displayed in cabinets between the psychoanalyst’s myriad collection of artefacts, emphasised the extraordinary and ambiguous potency of notions of the exotic and ‘the other’.
- Not on display
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