Measure of a foot
On entering a quarry, one enters the earth. One descends into that which as long as it existed could not be accessed. A rock is a record of everything that formed it—the magma from millions of years ago when a volcano erupted. Inside a quarry, the surface of the rock is the ultimate intermediary; its exposure to forces of extraction leads to the layer beneath. An image of a quarry is always a negative; it is that which has been excavated that enables the image to come into being.
Many of the works in Measure of a foot—Hemali Bhuta’s current exhibition at Project 88—were made by means of unmaking what were once finished works in Point-Shift and Quoted Objects, her previous solo at the gallery. Materials carry their own geologies with themselves, and in this body of work the artist goes back in time to bring something forth from that which remains. These processes of transmutation are inevitably also invisible to us as viewers, but nonetheless seem to suggest that the works of art, and the matter they contain, belong to a continuum. Lying on the ground, they are future memorials to their former selves.
-Text by Nida Ghouse.
Nida Ghouse is a writer, curator and presently the director of Mumbai Art Room