Corrections to the First Draft of History
Newsprint, chalkboard paint and chalk
Exhibited in an eponymous solo exhibition, at Frith Street Gallery, London (2014) followed by Untimely Calendar, NGMA, New Delhi (2014)
In 1850, a man called Peary Churn Sarkar wrote up a primer for Bengalis to learn English with. He called it, ‘The First Book of Reading’. It was a textbook, a lexicon, an almanac, an enchiridion. With it, pupils learnt to read English, word by word, aloud at first, and then silently. With a new primer comes a new world, and a new time. Being a witness to history is to consider the transformation of what is happening into what is no longer happening. It is to see the world turn spectral before our eyes. Corrections to the First Draft of History ‘rewrites’ on newsprint of the world so as to speak of making new sets of meanings for what is considered history in our present times.