CHICAGO – Woman Made Gallery is proud to present Pritika Chodhry in her solo exhibition, Remembering the Crooked Line, where the artist places the intimate body within a transnational perspective giving material form to the skin of a nation.
Installed in experiential environments, they function as mobile and temporary memorials. Chowdhry makes reference to maps and cartography as technologies of colonization, nation-building, and ethnic divisions, and connects the partitions of India, Palestine, and Ireland—all former British colonies that were divided along ethnic lines at the end of British rule, in the aftermath of the Second World War. Her large-scale sculptures and site-sensitive installations reference the body in a charged tension with the body of the nation.
The title of this project refers to an epic novel by Ismat Chughtai. The semi-autobiographical plot of this novel is based in the years leading up to the Partition of India in 1947. The novel traces the life of a Muslim Indian woman, Shamman, from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, who eventually marries an Irishman stationed in pre-partition India as a journalist. Read as an allegory of the nation, it is unmistakable that Chughtai was making a specific connection with the common histories of British colonization that Ireland and India share. As a post-colonial text, it is significant in bridging the histories of two former colonies of Britain.