Ranbir Kaleka was born in 1953, raised in the city of Patiala and studied at the College of Art in Chandigarh (1970-75) and received a Masters Degree in Painting from the Royal College of Art in London in 1987. He has worked both in Britain and India. Kaleka’s work has been exhibited in museums, biennials, foundations and gallery contexts in Venice, Berlin, Lisbon, Vienna, New York, Mexico City and Sydney, among other centres.
"Across the three and half decades of his artistic activity, Ranbir Kaleka has produced both a remarkable body of paintings, vibrant with phantasmagoria and epic disquiet, as well as a body of trans-media works that combine conceptualist sophistication with a calibrated opulence of image." Ranjit Hoskote.
A wall is the marker of an ownership and a protector of a personal space, it's an enclosure to confine, it's also a boundary which blocks access to the perceived "other", an alien by reason of his/her colour, ethinicity, race or religion.
An innocent game of children brings them to the "other side", adults follow.
An itinerant tea vendor sets up a tea station.
A rumour ?...a suspicion?...fear?...rapacity?...rancour etc. etc.? Something causes a
riotous, clamorous , panicked run.
As we see the lone woman appear to the plaintive sound of a shehnai, struggling to keep up with the racing mob, we wonder is the mob the pursuers or are they the once being pursued…?