Nalini Malani | India b.1946
Remembering Toba Tek Singh | 1998-99 | 20 minute video installation comprising of 16 DVDs and one CD
Nalini Malani was born in Karachi in 1946. A year after her birth the partition of India into two nations (India and Pakistan) forced her family to flee to Calcutta.
Remembering Toba Tek Singh 1998-99 is a video installation that draws on the short story of the same name by author Sadat Hasan Manto. The story, set during partition, is about a mental patient, Bishen Singh, who refuses to be removed to India and dies tragically in a no-man’s-land between the two borders.
Malani uses the symbolism of Singh’s death to explore the effects of partition on the human and environmental condition.
In the larger installation, video projections show two women folding a sari across the exhibition space. The unbridgeable gap between the projected images acts as a metaphor for partition and the nuclear impasse between India and Pakistan.