Meghna Pamula


February 21 - March 10, 2023

Sprague Gallery

A video still of an animation. Two triangular figures, each personified with smiling eyes, a smiling mouth, arms, and feet, appear to be engaging with each other. A camera frame with a red button and "REC" on top suggests that they are being recorded in video.
Samosa Factory (still), 2022, animation, 1:20.

Sprague Gallery is pleased to announce AAAAAANNND, an exhibition of a drawing, paintings, and animations by Meghna Pamula (CMC ’25, Data Science and Government).

The selected works show Pamula’s recent focus on figures and the narrative structure that reveals their likeness, contiguity, and collective memory which are independent of their actual differences and distance. An earlier suggestion of these qualities was seen in Marston Plein Air (2021), a painting of a tree fork with which the exhibition begins.

The more recent works in the exhibition use forms and figures, all of which are either the artist’s friends or related to them and many of which are absent, and recollections of the past as well as the future: Pizza Boy (2022) is a painting of a photo of a friend shared by another friend; The Fate of the Mango (2022) is a painting from a memory of a mango eaten by a friend in two different moments, one before being eaten and thus intact, and one afterwards and fallen in parts on the ground; Electric Sapos (2023) is a drawing of a smashed guitar from a concert that a friend attended; and the series of three animations, Samosa Factory (2022), Badminton (2023), and Fortune Teller (2023), respectively tell in response to casual interviews by Pamula how the narrators met and became friends by cooking together, how playing badminton with friends changed the narrator’s life, and what different versions of the future will look like as if the narrators of very distinct personalities have each already lived it. Yet there is closeness, likeness, and the sense of the present that can be felt among the forms and figures, by the artist, and by the viewers, and even memorized. These qualities emerge as the forms and figures are given by Pamula new images. For example, in the animations real human faces of the narrators are replaced with simple, smiling, and relatable forms, such as those of the personified samosas. 

In the works, friends are alike and together no matter what. It might be possible that the friend in Badminton who now lives far away, by saying “aaaaaannnd,” is really calling for conjunction in and with the world. 

Meghna Pamula – AAAAAANNND opens on February 21 and continues through March 10, 2023. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8AM to 5PM. The exhibition is open to the public. The Covid-19 guidelines will be updated as new information becomes available.

The exhibition is curated by arts director Julia Hong of the HMC Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts.

Badminton, Fortune Teller, and Samosa Factory were produced for Pamula's 2022-2023 winter break Passion Project, sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies.

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