Hardeep Pandhal | Confessions of a Thug: Pakiveli

25 Jan 2020 – 22 Mar 2020

Regular hours

10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
12:00 – 17:00
12:00 – 17:00
12:00 – 17:00
12:00 – 17:00

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Glasgow, United Kingdom

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Confessions of a Thug: Pakiveli is a multimedia exhibition whose title takes its name from the pulp fiction of 1839 ‘Confessions of a Thug’ by the Orientalist writer Phillip Meadows Taylor.


The exhibition’s subtitle ‘Pakiveli’ refers to one of the artist’s rap monikers, adapted from an alias of the late rapper 2Pac, ‘Makiveli’. Taking the premise that heritage is constituted through performative and discursive practices, this exhibition reflects Pandhal’s ongoing exploration into the ways in which identities are subject to conflicting realities that shift over time and place.

Pandhal takes as a starting point the historical application of the word 'thug’, which originated in British-India to name a so-called religious cult of murderers. Although opinion is divided, many believe that ‘thugs’ were politically sensationalised by the British to appear innately criminal. The fiction ‘Confessions of a Thug’ mentioned above is exemplary of such sensationalism. It was adapted from real British criminal records and took the form of a deposition of a supposed ‘thug’.

Bridging different contexts, Pandhal has approached this exhibition as an exaggerated deposition, connecting practices of associative thinking and elliptical wordplay akin to rap production across a wide range of subject matter and media formats, including rap itself.

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Hardeep Pandhal


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