Today, we become: Prerna
Saturday, October 19th, 6-9pm
October 19 – November 17, 2019
Prerna’s performative installation, Today, we become, is an ever-changing installation until it eventually disappears. Prerna’s work questions our need to conceal unseen systems and our compliance with forceful self-categorization, frequently referencing her own experiences as a non-resident alien. The white walls of the gallery will become the sculptural canvas for this exhibition. The inherent whiteness of these walls falsely present as a symbol of neutrality. Through the course of the exhibition she will explore this environment that is defined by pristine emptiness, and will work towards reverting the space back to that emptiness. Asking the question of what happens if an empty white cube is all that is there.
All of Prerna’s work includes subtle alterations of documents, images and spaces. She displaces normative expectations and evaluates the systemic bias and hierarchy within such institutional systems. In doing so, her practice relies heavily on the materiality of institutional space, a platform to make invisible labor visible. The wall becoming a metaphor for transparency, instead of the common implications of it being a tool to block or segregate.
Prerna states, "I set conditions for my projects that are intended for the end result to counteract my alterations and restore the material back to its original state. The systems I’m dissecting exude hierarchical power and rely on expendability, impermanence, and categorization to maintain a permanent state of temporariness for an individual. This temporariness then translates into the labor that I perform, the place which I occupy, and the state of my being."
In Today, we become Prerna will etch text taken from a 1980 version of Basic Guide to Naturalization (Form M 230) and speech by the Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization into the gallery walls. This text, once redacted, will create new meanings and relationships from what the source material originally intended. Then throughout the exhibition she will continue to redact the words, covering them with spackle and slowly returning the wall to a blank white.
This exhibition will be in a constant state of change, a space that seems both empty yet saturated with content. Escalating to the monumental upon careful examination, a quick glance and the text will be hard to read, similar to the feeling of filling in immigration forms. Eventually, it will return back to the white cube it started as, its original state.
Prerna is a multidisciplinary artist currently based out of Minneapolis, MN. Born in Mumbai in 1995, Prerna moved to Minnesota to study art and is now an MFA student at the University of Minnesota. She is interested in the idea of returning her work back to how to belongs and critiquing the norms of making and presenting in an institutional setting. Her work has been featured in local galleries such as The White Page, Swedish Bank Building and Casket Art Center, as well as nationally at LUMP Gallery and SNAG Gallery. Prerna received a Wayne Potratz Scholarship, Marjorie Finch Scholarship and a Joyce Lyon Scholarship in support her student work in 2018. She is also included in the collections of Goreman Rare Book Collection, Kansas City Art Institute, Southeast Missouri State University, Kent State University, Montana State University, Utah State University and Zuckerman.