The Installation

From its initial conception, the Indelible Lalita project has consisted of both a feature-length documentary film and a two-channel installation. The installation, designed to be viewed in an enclosed gallery setting, consists of two rectangular video projections stacked vertically and running in a continuous 16-minute loop.

The installation focuses not on the specific narrative of Lalita Bharvani’s life, but on the ways her life illustrates the idea of the body as a document onto which one’s experiences are written. The vertical stacking creates a new singular image reflecting Lalita’s complex identity and the ways in which her body “archives” her experiences living across three continents, falling in love, facing prejudice and culture shock, and dealing with life-threatening illness. The top image represents Lalita’s lived experience, and the bottom image metaphorically inscribes this experience onto her body.

The piece exploits the long horizontal seam of the 16x9 aspect ratio, converting compositional breaks in each image into connections across images. Each “scene” is restrained to a single shot, though the overlaps are staggered to allow each shot to merge with multiple other shots. Aside from the spare synchronous sound track, the piece is aurally punctuated with short lines of voiceover from Lalita about the “indelible stamp” life leaves on your body and psyche.

The Lalita installation premiered at the San Francisco Art Institute MFA Show in 2010 at Fort Mason, San Francisco. We hope to install it in museums and galleries as a free-standing piece or in a companion show with the feature film. View the installation video below:

Click here for more information on Julie Mallozzi’s installation work.