Signs taken for Wonders – Munish Wadhia

Published: 2 November, 2019
Signs taken for Wonders – Munish Wadhia

Foto: Munish Wadhia

November 16 – December 22, 2019

Oil flows down thin threads, over a sewing machine, metal coils and thread rolls tied up in the ceiling. Tigers are drawn onto a black wall, as a thread between the colonial fantasies of matchboxes produced in Sweden, the Swedish principle of neutrality and the state campaign of “en svensk tiger” (the double meaning of “a Swedish tiger” or “a Swede keeps silent”).

In the exhibition Signs taken for Wonders, artist Munish Wadhia returns to the images and objects that surrounded him during his childhood, but with a decolonial gaze that questions their given meanings. The rooms are filled with objects and paintings that have been detached from their previous contexts and unveil relationships between visual cultures that have long been considered to be far apart. Play and accident have been guiding strategies in the work, as they enable an expression of what is truly subjective.

The supposed Indian landscapes on the paintings of the Hindu gods turn out to be European, the crocheted table cloths from the local flea market in Gnesta bear the same pattern as a mandala. What are the nationalist and colonialist strategies that underlie the understanding and valuation of these images? And how do they still exert their oppression?


Exhibition text (pdf)