Nalini Malani: In Search of Vanished Blood / Transgressions
17 Mar 2017

Audi Gallery 0.1. and vestibule monumental staircase
6 - 10 pm
Museum admission price

It is not necessary to make a reservation. 


The Indian artist Nalini Malani has created a unique adaptation of her famous ‘video/shadow play’ In Search of Vanished Blood (2012) for the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. This monumental six-part projection will fill the historical upstairs hallway surrounding the staircase of the old building on the evening of March 17. The event will take place in conjunction with the official opening of the exhibition Nalini Malani: Transgressions (March 18, 2017 – June 18, 2017).


In Search of Vanished Blood was originally created for dOCUMENTA 13 in 2012. This multimedia installation tells the story of a woman who is subjected to gang rape. Christa Wolf’s novel Cassandra (1983) and the poem In Search of Vanished Blood (1965) by the Pakistani leftist activist and poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz were key sources of inspiration for the work. The videos and soundtrack portray a world in decay, for which the classical figure of Cassandra might offer a way out if we could learn from past tragedies.


Nalini Malani is one of India’s most prominent contemporary artists. Born in 1946 in Karachi, the Partition of India caused her family to become refugees in 1947. This disruption of the subcontinent affects Malani’s art and personal life to this day. A social activist artist, Malani structures her work with rich storylines that are permeated by themes such as migration, globalization, poverty, and feminist causes, often combined with motifs from classical literature and mythology.


This exhibition is centered on Transgressions, which was acquired by the Stedelijk in 2001. Just like In Search of Vanished Blood in its original installation for dOCUMENTA 13, Transgressions is constructed as a unique combination of painting, video, and moving shadows that Malani has coined a ‘video/shadow play’. A selection of additional works features diverse themes and references to the political, literary and classical narratives that have occupied her experimental artistic practice over the past 50 years. In addition, Malani will create a mural drawing especially for the Stedelijk. When the exhibition ends this will be removed in an Erasure Performance. The exhibition Nalini Malani: Transgressions is part of a long-term research program that sheds new light on the Stedelijk’s collection through the prism of current topics.


6 pm               entrance | Audi Zaal 0.1
6.15 pm               welcome | Beatrix Ruf, director of the Stedelijk Museum
6.30 pm               artist talk | Nalini Malani and Margriet Schavemaker (curator of the exhibition)
7 pm               start media installation | In Search of Vanished Blood


This opening event was generously supported by: Burger Collection, BeamSystems, Galerie Lelong and Dorigo-Wierper.