The exhibition Record Keeping came into being after a series of conversations between the artist and art historian Anne Koval, Sunil Gupta and Jan Allen. The resulting selection spans fifteen years of practice (1988-2003) and includes both installations and selection of the artists’ large-format works on paper. Collectively, these works document Sarinder Dhaliwal’s sustained engagement with the problematics of forging meaning. They offer layered accounts of events (both past and imagined) and collapse time and space in an allusive zone of wry association. And they confirm moreover, the veracity of Hakim Bey’s assertion that it is through narrative that the broadest band of consciousness is engaged. Also notable is Dhaliwal’s use of highly persona, idiosyncratic iconography – the latter of which enlarges rather than confines the work’s scope. The tang of affective logic can thus be felt in this work – even in the same moment that it flirts with loss of order and captivates us with its essential generosity and beauty. But it is the artist’s exquisite rendering – the considered rhythms of her art – which reveals her stirring efforts to make sense of experience/ as the pleasures of particularities are expressed, the elements of experience are also somehow bound together against the centrifugal forces of loss and forgetfulness. In the end however, Dhaliwal’s work seems mostly to address the mechanisms of culture. How do cultures transform and preserve themselves? How do they exist in dialogue? And how, as in the case of curtains for babel, x, y, & z, do such cultures falter?
Exhibition: John Hansard Gallery, Southam 11 May–19 June 2004; Oriel Mostyn Gallery Llandudno 22 January–5 March 2004; Canada House Gallery, London 1 April–24 June 2005 ; Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston Ontario 25 September– 18 November 2005