Gandhi's Appeal For Peace

Jitish Kallat transforms Gandhi's message to Hitler into an evocative installation.

Blessy Augustine Updated: Jan 30, 2020 11:33:21 IST
Gandhi's Appeal For Peace Covering Letter, by Jitish Kallat, Fog-screen projection, variable dimensions, 2012. Photo: B. Huet/Tutti

Jitish Kallat’s art is often about rethinking the past through the utterances of the many men who moulded history. For his installation titled ‘Covering Letter’ (2012), he turns to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. A few weeks before the onset of the Second World War, Gandhi wrote a letter to Adolf Hitler urging the German chancellor to “prevent a war which may reduce humanity to the savage state”. Hitler never received the note as it was intercepted by the British authorities. Kallat uses the letter to create an immersive installation: In a darkened passage, projected on to cascading fog is the text of Gandhi’s letter. The spectator reads and walks through this message. The evanescence of the fog is evocative of the fate of this appeal for peace and of the many who walked into a different kind of fog in Nazi Germany’s gas chambers.

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