Next month, contemporary Indian artist Jitish Kallat’s Public Notice 3 will open on the Art Institute’s own Woman’s Board Grand Staircase. Kallat was here at the museum this week to view a mock-up of the site-specific installation and speak with Alsdorf Associate Curator of Indian & Islamic Art Madhuvanti Ghose about the piece and its significance to the Art Institute.
Public Notice 3 will appropriate the text from Swami Vivekananda’s famous speech at the Art Institute (in what is currently Fullerton Hall) on the subject of religious tolerance and present it on LED displays on the steps of the Grand Staircase. Coincidentally, the speech took place in conjunction with the World’s Columbian Exposition on September 11, 1893, obviously a date that has exceptional significance to us today. About the work, Kallat said “It’s not just the confluence of dates, but of dates and sites,” and will juxtapose Vivekananda’s progressive views on tolerance with the terrorist attacks that occurred 108 years later on September 11, 2001. Each word will also be randomly assigned a color that’s used by the Department of Homeland Security to denote terror levels. Similar to Kallat’s previous work (which includes Public Notice and Public Notice - 2), the work conflates words, mapping, color, and site to provide a “framework to look at the world as it is today.”
We’ll post their full conversation in a few weeks, so stay tuned.
Public Notice 3 will officially open on September 11, but you can get a preview at After Dark on Friday, September 10.