Wave Hill | West 249th St. and Independence Ave.
Kiran Chandra investigates the ways in which systems can be used to connect language, ecology, politics, and art. In the Sunroom, she is creating an installation that incorporates sculpture, drawing and audio to explore the nature of non-human intelligence and empathy. Chandra is inspired by the book, The Soul of the White Ant (1925) by Eugène Marais, the South African poet, writer and naturalist, who spent his life studying termites. Rather than a literal reading of Marais’s text, the installation will evoke the spirit of his observations of termite colonies and the role of communication within and around termitaries. The installation will incorporate two sculptural termitaries, pods made of plaster and covered in soil from which the story of the white ant emerges. Chandra’s own text lyrically links Marais’s observations of termite behavior to the human impulse to form communities outside of the nuclear family. The sound piece will be subtle and ambient, reflecting on the desire for communication and social engagement. These components will be accompanied by observational drawings of swarms of fauna and flora.
Chandra received an MFA from Hunter College, a BFA from the Art Institute of Boston and a BA from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University. She has had solo exhibitions at Shrine Empire Gallery, New Delhi, India, and Ganges Art Gallery, Kolkata, India. Her work has been featured in the Whitney Houston Biennial, New York, NY, and in group exhibitions at Momenta and Bogart Salon, Skylight Gallery, 303 Grand Gallery, all in Brooklyn, NY; Project 88 in Mumbai, India, and other venues. Recent residencies and awards include BRIC Media Arts Fellowship, Brooklyn, NY; SOMA Summer International Program, Mexico City; and Cisneros Scholarship for study in Mexico City.