Remembering Toba Tek Singh
Video Installation, 20 minutes looped, sound, 1998-99
  Inspired by "Toba Tek Singh", a short story
by Sa 'adat Hassan Manto.

The video installation traces the painful, horrific and absurd journey of violence beginning with the splitting of India into two countries, India and Pakistan, in 1946 to the aggressive posturing that led to the nuclear tests in 1998.

The work was made in response to the underground nuclear tests in India on
11 May, 1998, a significant day on the Buddhist calender.
  The large central projection consists of a single cell animation drawing by the artist, montaged and layered with archival material of 'Little Boy' and 'Fat Man', the American bombs that killed millions of people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the World War II. The installation works as a video triptych. Two videos depicting two women face each other across the expanse of a room that has tin trunks containing monitors and bedding placed in a grid formation. These are the kind of trunks used by refugees to carry all their wordly possessions.

The images on the monitors in the trunks depict people torn away from their homelands, crossing borders, rioting, suffering. Many of these video images are taken from archival material from several countries. This installation presents the cleaving of countries and the irrational, inhuman use of technology.

Victoria Lynn, Catalogue Text, 'Voiceovers' 1999, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia

Video installation, 4 projectors, 4 DVD players [one split screen projection], sync with single remote sensor, 12 monitors, 12 tin trunks, 12 quilts, wall to wall mylar, mirrors, 1 audio CD player, 2 amplifiers and 4 speakers.
Dimensions variable.

This project has been produced with support from
The Prince Claus Fund, The Netherlands.

Solo exhibition at the Coomaraswamy Hall, Prince of Wales Museum, Bombay.
Exhibited at the 16th and the 20th World Wide Video Festival in Amsterdam, 'Voiceovers', Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Gwangju Biennale and at the Asia–Pacific Triennial, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.

copyright © 2004 Nalini Malani