Until December 31, 2022, 1×1 Art Gallery in Dubai is holding a solo exhibition of Remen Chopra W. Van der Vaart “In These Verses I Find Home”. In her multimedia works which are on display, this Indian artist explores such topics as culture, memory, heritage, lineage, space, and time.
While creating her artworks, Remen uses personal objects passed down to her by her grandmother and brings up memories — evokes personal spaces and her relationship with the environment. Here, the maternal source and the concept of home strongly connected to it are key elements. The maternal source is represented not only by Remen’s grandmother, from whose archive she employs the city, the story, the memory, and the object, but also by the Earth itself, which is feminine for Remen. So the concept in focus consists of a micro level of a personal space that stirs up the memories of home and the macro level of the planet we all call home. Home is a leitmotif in our history, identity, and sense of belonging. The place we live in reflects our personal, ideological, and cultural past.
Among the art pieces featured in the exhibition, there is “To what shore would you cross” (2020). It is comprised of an heirloom carpet that has been passed on matrilineally and a sculptural imaginary topographic landscape which is placed on it. The work symbolises ideas of travel, lineage, and rootedness.
Another notable artwork on view is “In Imaginary landscapes: Shimla, Rawalpindi” (2020). To create it, Remen, who grew up in three cities — these two and Iran, drew her inspiration from the family stories of Shimla and Rawalpindi told to her by her grandmother. Exploring the cartography of memory in this work, the artist shows how non-linear narratives are made of fragmented pieces.
Remen Chopra W. Van der Vaart (born in 1980, New Delhi) is a multidisciplinary artist who resides in Mumbai. She graduated from the College of Art, New Delhi, with a Master’s degree in Painting. In 2001, Remen took part in an Italian Cultural Exchange Program and studied Art History and Language in Siena. In 2003, she completed a Diploma course in photography from the School of Phototechnic, New Delhi.
Remen’s artistic practice features photography, drawing, sculpture, and poetry; she uses different materials including textile, wood, and glass. In her art, Remen pays particular attention to the use of light, symmetry, geometry, and patterns. The multidisciplinary approach, as well as her diverse cultural heritage, allows the artist “[…] to explore the layered histories and uncover these layers through a selective process of memory”.
Over the years, Remen has participated in a number of group exhibitions: Walking On The Planet, Casa Masaccio in collaboration with Centro per L’arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci di Prato, Italy; 56th Venice Biennale, Transnational Pavilion, Mumbai; Indian Parallax of the Doubling of Happiness, Birla Art Foundation, Kolkata; and many others.
To get more information about the “In These Verses I Find Home” exhibition, please visit its official web page.
You might also be interested in visiting “No Condition Is Permanent” by Taysir Batniji.