Heart of Silence Book Launch

Curatorial essay by Ranjit Hoskote

An intimate and beautifully illustrated catalogue of Husain's multi-media installation Heart of Silence. The book features a curatorial essay by Ranjit Hoskote and a Q&A with the artist.


Excerpt from A Shrine of Aftermath: Owais Husain’s ‘Heart of Silence’

by Ranjit Hoskote


Owais Husain’s ‘Heart of Silence’ is a meditation on the moment of aftermath: a deeply elegiac work, it dwells on ruin and remainder, all that is left to us after the apocalyptic forces of war, tempest and flood have wreaked their havoc and passed on. The structure of this installation is a deceptively simple one. It is developed around three large houses constructed in translucent paper, lit from within. Each of these houses is suspended upside down, as though it had been overturned by military violence or natural catastrophe. Under each house is a steel basin filled with water, in which the house is reflected; mirrors line the walls of the installation, replicating and multiplying the houses into a system of visual echoes, in a magical gesture that bears an affinity with Yayoi Kusama’s infinity fields. At the far end of the installation, drawing us back from the contemplation of a cosmic infinity to the recognition of an everyday suffering, is a video screen showing the restless feet of a wanderer, continuously in motion: is this a refugee fleeing earthquake or famine; a fugitive from scenes of conflict, or a nomad in search of pastures and watercourses? 

November 16, 2015