Lunar Notes, 2008
Reena Saini Kallat, India
Reena Kallat’s work often explores the places where the public and the private intersect. Lunar Notes and the accompanying photographic installation, Anonymously Yours, grew out of the artist’s fascination with what she calls “love-graffiti”–testaments of affection in the form of names or initials scratched on the walls in public places. Her work often incorporates names, which act as the stand-ins for personal identity. Lunar Notes consists of hundreds of bounded-marble beads, each carved with names of lovers, into a curtain. From a distance the beads can be seen to form an image of the Taj Mahal, the now public monument built as the ultimate symbol of love. Like the Taj Mahal, Lunar Notes balances between the public and the private, the monumental and the intricate. Yet, where the mausoleum has traversed from being a private declaration to a national symbol, the curtain has conjoined the two realms, in a sense democratizing it, by literally inscribing the image with individual names.