Gardner Museum Unveils a New Façade Installation by Bharti Kher

by Olga Khvan

Not All Who Wander Are Lost by the former artist-in-residence reflects on maritime history and migration routes throughout Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

Last week, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum unveiled a new installation mounted on its Anne H. Fitzpatrick Façade—Not All Who Wander Are Lost by former artist-in-residence Bharti Kher.

Kher’s work appropriates a historic map from an atlas by Jean Chardonnet, which the artist has enlarged to zoom in on migration routes throughout Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. The installation is covered with multi-colored bindi dots, a traditional forehead decoration worn by women in India and a recurring theme in Kher’s works.

“The acid orange colored bindis impart a sense of emergency as they collide with the black. These dots mark places for urgent attention and earnest conversation in our daily lives. They serve as a metaphor for the eye urging us to be aware of the shifting borders of migrant populations, marking the map as a constantly changing flux of truths and leaving a residue of time like a palimpsest,” states a press release from the museum.

Kher was born in London and currently resides in New Delhi. Her work has been exhibited around the world, including solo shows in Shanghai, Seoul, Hong Kong, Paris, London, New York, and New Delhi. She participated in the Gardner’s artist-in-residence program in 2013 and is the sixth former artist-in-residence invited to create a temporary, site-specific installation for the new wing’s façade, following Stefano Arienti, Adam Pendleton, Hamra Abbas, Luisa Rabbia, and Nari Ward.

Not All Who Wander Are Lost will be on view through January 5, 2016 at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way, Boston, gardnermuseum.org.

 
  Not All Who Wander Are Lost  by Bharti Kher | Photo provided

Not All Who Wander Are Lost by Bharti Kher | Photo provided