Broken Column: The Monuments of Forgetting
Art Show International
In “Broken Column: The Monuments of Forgetting,” Pritika Chowdhry has created latex casts of the Jallianwallan Bagh* memorial in Punjab, India; the Minar-e-Pakistan memorial in Lahore, Pakistan; and the Martyred Intellectuals monument in Rayer Bazar, Dhaka, Bangladesh. During Partition in 1947, India was split along religious lines, and twenty million people were displaced: Hindus traversed the border to India and Muslims to Pakistan. Two million people died in violent partition riots and, less-known, over 300,000 Muslim, Sikh, Bengali, and Hindu women were raped. Likewise, women were the erased victims in the partition of Pakistan when Bangladesh was formed in 1971. Evoking skin, Chowdhry’s installation. Broken Column is an intertextual reference to Attia Hossain’s coming-of-age novel of a young Muslim girl in the turbulent times of India’s partition, “Sunlight on a Broken Column.” Chowdhry’s silicone and latex fragments function as anti-memorials, refusing to be appropriated for nationalist propaganda. As they bear witness to these traumatic events, they functioning as an entry point to healing processes.
The online exhibition at Art Show International features images of casts of sections of the Soap Factory in Minneapolis, the building where the installation was first on view in 2013. To create the work, Chowdhry visited each memorial casting the parts close to the ground. “The silicone and latex casts are like the ‘skin’ that make the “body” of the monument accessible in a corporeal manner,” says the artist. Further alluding to migrating bodies, Chowdhry inclusion of casts of the building acknowledge her location as a diasporic South Asian woman in the US.
Deeply engaged with disseminating her research, Chowdhry’s Partition Anti-Memorial Project includes an educational component: a blog and YouTube channel. Through these platforms she highlights partitions of countries, civil and military wars, riots, border violence, genocides, and terrorist attacks, to raise consciousness and connect global acts of resistance with India’s Partition. To commemorate India’s 75th anniversary, Chowdhry has upcoming shows at Woman Made Gallery, Weisman Museum, ARC, Chicago Art Department, Highland Park Art Center, and a retrospective at South Asia Institute.
*The anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre is on April 13th. The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre in 1919 stunned the nation and mobilized the Indian Independence movement.
About the Artist
Pritika Chowdhry is an Indian-born Chicago-based multimedia artist. Chowdhry has exhibited her works nationally and internationally in group and solo exhibitions in the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, Queens Museum in New York, Hunterdon Museum in New Jersey, Islip Art Museum in Long Island, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, DoVA Temporary in the University of Chicago, Brodsky Center in Rutgers University, and Cambridge Art Gallery in Massachusetts. She is the recipient of a Vilas International Travel Fellowship, an Edith and Sinaiko Frank Fellowship for a Woman in the Arts, a Wisconsin Arts Board grant, and a Minnesota State Arts Board grant.
Chowdhry has an MFA in Studio Art and an MA in Visual Culture and Gender Studies from UW-Madison and has taught at Macalester College and College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, Minnesota.
About the Gallery
Founded in Los Angeles, Art Show International Gallery has expanded into what critics are calling “One of the finest cutting-edge galleries in today’s rapidly evolving Art World.” Celebrated for its impeccable recognition of ground-breaking artistic talent, the Artists of Art Show International Gallery have caught the eye of the World’s most prominent Modern and Contemporary Art Collectors and Investors. Through representation of meticulously selected, innovative, world-renowned artists, the gallery offers only the most coveted and sought-after Museum-quality artwork in the primary market.
Partition Anti-Memorial Project: https://www.pritikachowdhry.com/partition-art