Rajkamal Kahlon, Bound/ Unbound, 29X40 inches, 2005

Provisions Fall 2005 program, India Unbound!, focuses on India and its colonial and post-colonial histories. An exhibition and related special programs examine and challenge recurring themes and stereotypes, opening new ways of envisioning the power of art and social change in 21st century India.

India Unbound! features Rajkamal Kahlon’s Unbound- a series of gouache paintings that confront India’s colonial history. Kahlon’s highly-charged images are superimposed on original pages from Eric Cassell’s The Illustrated History of India, a classic 19th-century text intended to explain and popularize India in the West. Kahlon’s images are passionate and provocative commentaries that highlight, caricature or obliterate Cassell’s text in order to interrogate Orientalism, sexuality, and violence in colonial India.

Rajkamal Kahlon was born in California in 1974 and lives in Hawaii. She received her M.F.A. in Painting from the California College of Arts & Crafts in 1999. She participated in the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program, the Fine Arts Work Center and the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture

To deepen and enrich understanding of issues raised in Kahlon’s art, a special series of programs explore new visions in art, cinema and activism that challenge Orientalist stereotyping and colonial power. Chief among the stereotypes explored are those that surround rationality, sexuality, and violence – of Indians as essentially mystical and irrational, sexually repressed, and unusually violent and disorganized. Programs highlight contemporary responses to these stereotypes in art, cinema and activism, ranging from Gandhian influences on U.S. civil rights movements to new documentaries on queer sexuality and nonviolent movements in India.

The exhibition was on display September 9, 2005 – October 29, 2005.


Waiting for the Barbarians
J.M. Coetzee

Madness and Civilization
Michel Foucalt

The Mismeasure of Man
Stephen Jay Gould

Monoculture of the Mind
Vandana Shiva

Camera Indica: The Social Life of Indian Photography
Christopher Pinney

Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire
David Cannadine

Breast Stories
Mahasweta Devi

The Instruments of Torture
Michael Kerrigan

Comments are closed.