Vibha Galhotra’s first exhibition at Jack Shainman Gallery began dramatically with Neo Camouflage (2008), an installation in which four mannequins dressed in military garb stood guard before a large photo mural of Old Delhi rooftops. The panoramic vista, seen from a tower of the Jama Masjid mosque (the city’s highest spot), casts a god-like omnipresence and aura of surveillance over the seemingly endless expanse of buildings, streets, and rooftops, even as the view—digitally expanded and manipulated through Photoshop mirroring—describes a place of overwhelming density and unfettered development. Reprinted on the mannequin’s uniforms, the same photograph serves as camouflage that allows these stern sentinels to blend into the city unfolding behind them. Controlling access to what is seen, watching while being watched, these cloaked figures put us on notice: look carefully, for things are not what they seem. Camouflage, the art of visual deception, lies at the heart of
Galhotra’s sculptural project. Willfully and purposefully, she obfuscates our vision in order to interrogate the discourses of power hidden in plain sight....see the entire article in the print version of January/February's Sculpture magazine.
Between (detail), 2011. Nickel-coated ghungroos, fabric, polyurethane, thread, and steel, dimensions variable.