artist / participant
On 12 March 1930, Mahatma Gandhi gave a speech that marked the beginning of his ‘salt march’ in which he walked 390 kilometres to the coastal town of Dandi in the Indian state of Gujarat. There he gathered salt, refusing to pay the tax imposed by the colonial British Government and therefore breaking the law. This simple and now famous act inspired nationwide civil disobedience and is seen as the beginning of an intensified Indian independence movement. Gandhi’s legacy of non-violent protest continues to influence political action worldwide.
In Public notice 2 2007, Indian artist Jitish Kallat renders Gandhi’s historic speech in its entirety, letter by letter. Each letter appears to be made from bone, as though Kallat has exhumed these words from their historical resting place. As Kallat says: ‘In today’s terror-infected world, where wars against terror are fought at prime television time, voices such as Gandhi’s stare back at us like discarded relics.’
Part of Go East: The Gene & Brian Sherman Contemporary Asian Art Collection, presented in partnership with the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney.