Nadia Kaabi-Linke | Lost and Found: Experimenter – Hindustan Road

9 March - 30 April 2016

Experimenter presents Lost and Found - Nadia Kaabi-Linke’s second solo at Experimenter, Kolkata.

Lost and Found marks a shift in Kaabi-Linke’s practice where she moves towards the act of print making to the act of an indexical, time-related mark making activity and explores cavities of time and space, which reveal themselves through a tactile recording of surface impressions. Surface impressions, in Kaabi-Linke’s practice over the last decade, have had an increasing relevance in revealing qualities and narratives that were lost in time. Her work casts new light upon her subjects of enquiry – usually things that do not necessarily seem to withhold information, such as old wall surfaces, forensic studies on people’s skins amongst others – which in turn unravel themselves with new meaning

In a work titled Spick and Span in February, 2016, part of an ongoing process of creating twelve variations of graphite drawings on silk paper and canvas, each of which is linked to a month in the year, Kaabi-Linke reflects upon her own practice of print making. This exercise facilitates an understanding of whether a real time painting or drawing is even possible. In the process of creating, the individual aspects of each variation of the work lie in the very nature of its origin and in the evolutionary process of the piece itself. In the end, each drawing relates to both, time and space, through the activity of filling periods of time until the surface satisfies the conditions which end this process. The acceptance of this end or when the work is complete is the only decision the artist can make. A large triptych, Rialto, 2016 is a transfer print taken from its namesake, the famous bridge in Venice, which has been a crucial link between two parts of the floating city for over four hundred years. Laden with private messages and markings, the surface of this bridge becomes a recorder of emotions, history and time itself in its physical manifestation.

Time finds itself subtly expressed in another work titled Salt and Sand, 2016 where Kaabi-Linke uses the duration of her solo at the gallery to highlight the conceptual significance of time in her work. A weighing scale is balanced exactly with salt on the one side and sand on the other, as it sits in the centre of the gallery. Over the duration of the course of the exhibition, it changes its balance with the evaporating salt. Through this simple gestural piece, Kaabi-Linke talks about the passage of time, and the shifts and imbalances that occur over the period and a nuanced reflection of what is ephemeral and what is not. Taking paint chips from wall surfaces all over the world, some of which were also made in Kolkata, Kaabi-Linke will also show a work titled Color of Time. Scraping paint from old walls that have been painted and repainted over time, she grinds the chips to create unique pigments of each wall, which brings together a series of canvasses that literally reflect upon the colors of time. The work of Nadia Kaabi-Linke is not bound to any specific medium or method, but is closely linked to that of a recorder of time and space through sculpture, painting installation and most importantly – printmaking. In creating this new body of work for her solo at Experimenter, Kaabi-Linke plays the role of an investigator, looking within the crevices of her subjects, and expressing the temporality of her mediums while unravelling new interpretations in the unlikeliest of objects that had been lost in time but may have just been found again.