The Aleph and Other Stories
Solo Exhibition by AchiaAnzi
Instituto Cervantes collaboration with the Embassy of Argentina and Threshold Art Gallery in New Delhi announce the opening of AchiaAnzi’s new exhibition: The Aleph and other Stories. Inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’ short-story, The Aleph, Anzi’sproject explores the contemporary position of the imageand its relation with “reality”. While questioning, after Borges, notions such as “totality”, “universe” and the ability of the image to mediate them, Anzi’s new body of work - which consists of installations, photographsand video art - highlights the cracks and glitches in the new imagery order which was established by late capitalism and portrayed by theorists such as Guy Debord and Jean Baudrillard.
The exhibition highlights a rather marginal anecdote in Borges' story: a new advertisement of American cigarettes on the billboards around Buenos Aires’ Constitution Plaza that appears at the story’s outset. This trivial change in the realm of advertisements, pained the author since it demonstratedhow the forever changing universe is already slipping away from the hands of his unattainable deceased beloved, Beatriz Viterbo. Even though this minor change was an indicator for many more to come, curiously Borges recognized the everlasting movement of the universe and the death of his beloved in the hyperreal domain. But whileBeatriz's cousin (and possibly her lover as the text implies), the poet, Carlos ArgentinoDaneri is fascinatedby modern man, who is equipped with "telephones, telegraphs, phonographs, wireless sets, motion-picture screens, slide projectors, glossaries, timetables, handbooks, bulletins..." and for whom "actual travel was superfluous",Borges is rather suspicious towards the capacities of the image. Thus, while the poet’s literary project aimed at producing an all-encompassing poetic image of the entire universe, Borges in the story’s postscriptundermines the mystical experience that occurred to him while in the poet’s cellar, and declares that the cellar’s Alephthrough which he saw the entire universe, is a false Aleph.
Following the aftermath of the last global financial crisis, Anzi’s photographs document the increasing number of empty billboards in and around Delhi. While the billboard’s bare skeleton reveals the malfunctions and fractions in the postmodern economy of simulation, it lends itself to an image which declares its own limitation.The naked billboard’s photograph does two things at the same time. It discloses its deficiencies, but accordingly refuses (or is unable) to represent a new “reality” which transgresses the image.
The exhibition’s preview will be accompanied by a solo performance staged at the exhibition’s space and interact with the artworks. Adapted from Borges’ story and directed by the artist, the performance will feature actor Varoon P. Anand.