Opening: 2. September 2014, 19h
Exhibition Duration: 3. September – 25. September 2014

Mithu Sen’s mother tongue, Bengali, is one of the languages spoken by the most people in the world. It is used by more than 200 million people. When Mithu Sen moved to New Delhi a decade ago, she became acutely aware of the dominance of the English language in the capital city. As a young artist she had written poems in her mother tongue and this artistic expression of her ideas found a new beginning in Delhi. What prompted her to change her perception of language and text was a mistranslation of one of her poems from Bengali to English which changed the meaning of her words. With the new uncertainty regarding her expressive means, her poems were increasingly marked by vacant spaces and freed from the fetters of semantic structure.

Mithu Sen is an internationally renowned contemporary artist. She is mainly known for her drawings that are usually erotic representations. In 2010 she won the Skoda award in India.( highest award comparable to the Turner Prize) One year before that, she spent several months in Vienna as part of a residency at Krinzinger Projekte. The exhibition titled A ° Void, now showing at Galerie Krinzinger, spans an unusual combination of media ranging from performance, drawing to installation.

Mithu Sen’s performance I am a Poet was presented for the first time in 2013 (Jul-Nov.) in London at Word. Sound. Power, a joint project of Tate Modern Project Space and the Khoj International Artist’s Association. Here she reads from her eponymous volume of poems. The transparent pages of the book reveal subtle letters. These are asemic writings, which are devoid of all meaning. Finding access to her subconscious world, Mithu Sen expresses it by means of sounds and movements. The performance becomes a liberation of language that is otherwise structured and hierarchical.

The richness of a multilingual space, which India in particular, with its more than 210 languages, continues to exemplify, confronts society with an enormous challenge. In a global world, the loss of local dialects with their specific qualities such as sound or special expressions makes it necessary to regain the spontaneous, creative and emotional dimensions of speech. Mithu Sen thus gives free rein to unstructured, spontaneous and emotional sounds.

This performance is supposed to travel the world. At every location she will ask members of the audience to read her poems and to tape them so that there will eventually be a large collection of voices of emotions. This will prove to be an asset for the marginalized voices of society/LIFE who are otherwise not heard.

Drawings with engravings on plexiglas, are exhibited in a light installation where shadows and light fall onto the pages in alternating fashion. Due to the incident of light shadow-drawings appear from time to time on the surface of the paper. Here, too, the artist is interested in what is ephemeral, which only becomes visible at one moment. They seek to fill the recesses between real and non-real realm; of what exists and what exists only for a moment. An imagination of the world, which does not already exist.