Critics’ Picks

Soghra Khurasani, One Day It Will Come Out, 2012, woodcut on paper, 56 x 108”.

Soghra Khurasani, One Day It Will Come Out, 2012, woodcut on paper, 56 x 108”.


Soghra Khurasani

KK (Navsari) Chambers, Ground Floor 39B AK Nayak Marg, Fort
April 26–June 7, 2014

The key strategy in Soghra Khurasani’s solo debut is repetition. Each of her woodcuts and etchings features blood cells, either soaked in red or leached of color. Hundreds of these ring-shaped motifs populate Khurasani’s compositions—at times appearing like erupting volcanoes or a field of blooming roses—evidently suggesting a human presence in volatile and fecund landscapes.

“One Day It Will Come Out,” the title of the show, which includes a set of three fifty-six-inch prints of the artist’s rivers of molten lava filled with red blood cells, could be thought of as a foreboding. The placid Silent Fields 1 and 2, both 2014, on the other hand, feature clusters of Khurasani’s signature red blood cells amid picture-perfect blue skies, green grass, and red roses. Here, it appears as if the anger and the outrage prominent in the volcano triptych, also titled One Day It Will Come Out, 2012, have been overpowered.

Cocurator Sumesh Sharma’s essay links the use of blood cells as a figurative device in Khurasani’s artworks to the rise of Hindu nationalism in India and to a gruesome gang rape on a bus in New Delhi that caught the world’s attention two years ago, among other issues. Khurasani’s output can be ominous if examined in conjunction with the resounding electoral victory of Narendra Modi, India’s new prime minister who has been accused of supposedly abetting a pogrom against the minority Muslim community. Using both tranquil and ferocious frameworks for Khurasani’s use of blood cells in her work, however, may allude to the way crimes are being conveniently covered up in India for the promise of a better future.