For this Front Room exhibition, Sreshta Rit Premnath presents a new project that reflects his ongoing interest in the visual representations of power. The exhibition’s title, Folding Rulers, is also the name given to a series of eight printed vinyl banners featuring silhouettes of a human figure. Premnath created the images by placing folding rulers—a construction tool used for measuring angles and distance—in a sandbox and photographing the resulting composition. Despite their resemblance to commemorative portraits or busts found in private homes and public spaces, the content of the works remains abstract and unresolved.
Premnath’s invocation of the “sandbox” is motivated by an interest both in the American military’s use of the word to refer to the Middle East and in the use of the actual object as constructive psychotherapeutic tool to reveal an individual’s memory or past trauma. This association is established in the Folding Rulers portraits and in Sandbox (2012)—used military combat boots filled and overflowing with sand that become stand-ins for soldiers themselves, confronting anonymous portraits of power drawn in the sand. Together, these works, along with several others in the gallery, not only point to the seismic shifts currently underway in our contemporary geopolitical landscape but also actively imagine a future yet to be written.
Sreshta Rit Premnath: Folding Rulers is organized by the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and curated by Kelly Shindler, Assistant Curator.
Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
3750 Washington Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63108