Plebeian Archive is a multi-media installation punctuated with large scale wall drawings of Bhagat Singh, an activist who disguised himself by cutting his beard and replacing his turban with a trilby to commit violent acts of protest during the Indian independence movement. The exhibition includes works made in response to censored letters and photographic scrapbooks associated with the British-Sikh regiments, palimpsests that contain traces of seldom-explored narrative structures and conflicting opinion.
Pandhal discusses these references alongside his broader influences in a recently filmed public ‘in-conversation’ event at the studio where the work was developed. He has re-worked this footage and presented it across multiple monitors within the installation, incorporating non-linear modes of address, parodic language and home movies. Working at the limits of postcolonial discourse, Pandhal’s Plebeian Archive explores the displacing affects of mimicry, difference and acculturation.
Born in Birmingham, Hardeep Pandhal now lives and works in Glasgow, having graduated with an MFA from the Glasgow School of Art in 2013 with the support of a Leverhulme Scholarship award. He was selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries (2013), the Glasgow International Open Bursary (2013), the Catlin Art Guide (2014) and the Drawing Room Bursary Award (2015). Pandhal has a forthcoming solo exhibition at Collective, Edinburgh in November 2015.