Ruled Paper (red, blue, white)
electric wire on deckle – edge handmade paper
43 x 31 in. I 109 x 79 cm. each
Ruled Paper (red, blue, white) are reminiscent of four-lined page notebooks used in schools to practice learning to write. While the straight lines provide a framework, they also convey an impression of conformity to imposed rules. Here the lines consist of electric wires, the conduits used by global communication technologies. In some places they morph into barbed barriers evoking borders, threat and mistrust suggesting the dual nature of communication technologies both as connectors and potential sources of division. Red, blue and white recall the colours of the imperial state’s flags, evoking a legacy of colonial assertion, through the imposition of language and education systems, which this work symbolically gestures toward. As the lines distort, they give way to forms that reference maps of conflict zones such as Aksai Chin, Crimea, the Gaza Strip, Gilgit Baltistan, and the Taiwan Strait, among others conjuring up a long history of colonialist nationalist claims. Through this formal exploration, Kallat exposes the tacit ways in which our minds and perceptions can be colonised by the frameworks we are conditioned within.