Sreshta Rit Premnath on Identity and Space

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Founder of art theory journal Shifter, Parsons School of Design assistant professor, and multimedia artist Sreshta Rit Premnath presents his first solo exhibition, Falling, at Mid-Wilshire’s Ace Gallery. As if he didn’t have enough on his place. The collection is devided into two equally intriguing projects, Cadere/Rose and Plot, in an examination of the intricacies of identity and space.

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Sreshta Rit Premnath, installation view, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Ace Gallery.

Upon entering the gallery, the tenuously placed Cadere/Rose ruler pieces immediately catch the eye. These red-hued works, named in an homage to the Italian word for “falling” and Polish artist André Cadere, call attention to the performative action of placement. They imply the artist’s hand and allow the viewer to ponder Premnath’s identity and intent.

The meaning of the rulers themselves are called into question: Are they functional or purely art objects? Does the fact that they are located in a gallery setting change what they are? This notion of fluctuating identity based on location harkens back to the birth of Marcel Duchamp’s iconic “Readymades.” Along these same lines, as Premnath was greatly inspired by Cadere, we have to think about who the real creator of these pieces might be.

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Sreshta Rit Premnath, installation view, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Ace Gallery.

This shifting sense of identity combined with the exhibition’s rose theme reveals a powerful social message. As an Indian immigrant, the artist identifies with Bangladeshi flower merchants who famously sell roses in Rome’s many public squares. These migrants seem to be invisible in their new surroundings. Premnath posits, “If I were holding a bouquet of roses, I too would disappear.” In Plot, the second part of the exhibition, Premnath expertly deals with the difficult question of space and how we occupy it, as well as the blinding human need for possession.

Through Cadere/Rose and Plot, Falling gets to the very heart of what it means to be human, investigating what we believe and why we belong.

Sreshta Rit Premnath: Falling
Through September 23, 2017
Ace Gallery
5514 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

 

Emily Nimptsch

Emily Nimptsch

Emily Nimptsch is a freelance arts and culture writer living in Los Angeles. She has written for Flaunt, ArtSlant, Artillery, and produced blog content for Venice Beach’s L.A. Louver Gallery.

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