Nalini Malani’s Utopia
In this exclusive two-week screening, watch an experimental film work about a utopian vision of India.
Apr 13, 2022
Nalini Malani’s Utopia screened here April 13–27, 2022. The video is no longer available for streaming. Join us for the next Hyundai Card Video Views screening, Jacolby Satterwhite’s The Matriarch’s Rhapsody, beginning May 18, 2022.
In the summer of 1969, Nalini Malani began to explore moving-image art making. A recent graduate of the J.J. School of Art in Bombay (now Mumbai), she was the youngest—and only female—participant in the legendary though short-lived Vision Exchange Workshop (VIEW), a Bombay artists’ hub founded by artist Akbar Padamsee. Malani’s first stop-motion animation film, Dream Houses, made at VIEW that same year, was inspired by utopian modern architecture—including the Indian architect Charles Correa’s plan for New Bombay (later known as Navi Mumbai, 1964), drawings of which are featured in the MoMA exhibition The Project of Independence: Architectures of Decolonization in South Asia, 1947–1985. Seven years later she paired Dream Houses with a new film to form a diptych, Utopia, which is currently on view at MoMA in Gallery 419: Living for the City, and is presented here.
Malani’s groundbreaking video installations of the 1990s, her video/shadow plays of the 2000s (such as Gamepieces), and even her recent series of digital iPad animations, through which she connects with audiences on social media, can be traced back to these initial moving-image experiments. Now, 50 years later, Malani and I spoke via email about the origins of this work and its ongoing and wide-ranging influence.
—Lucy Galun, Associate Curator, The Robert B. Menschel Department of Photography
Join us for other screenings in the Hyundai Card Video Views series, which considers artists’ engagement with a technology that has become central to our daily lives.
Media and Performance at MoMA is made possible by Hyundai Card.
Major support is provided by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Director’s Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art.
Generous funding is provided by the Lonti Ebers Endowment for Performance and the Sarah Arison Endowment Fund for Performance.
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