Hold These Truths

November 13, 2017 - March 14, 2018

February 9 - April 21, 2018

Ambika Trasi

Sacred Apps, 2010
Silkscreen digital prints, plexiglass, basswood
Nine panels at 2.5 x 5 inches each
Courtesy the artist 

Reliquaries, 2011
Rapid prototyping model 3D prints, memory cards, assorted beads
Dimensions variable
Courtesy the artist 

Ambika Trasi’s works examine the histories, myths, and poetics embedded in ordinary objects and models. Drawing on her diasporic perspective, Trasi’s work engages with the residual influences of colonialism in the 21st century and explores how ritual and language shape our realities.

Our technological devices carry origin stories of their own, implicating global labor markets, contemporary modes of travel, and cross-cultural exchange. In Sacred Apps, Trasi presents nine sculptural models of iPhones, each overlaid with ancient and sacred texts. Trasi examines how this object—intended to order our lives and allow us to digitally document personal histories—echoes forms of ancient ritual.  

In Reliquaries, Trasi questions the mythmaking potential of seemingly ancient, authentic artifacts. Inspired by Buddhist reliquaries, each container corresponds to a different member of the artist’s family, including herself, and bears cryptic symbols that represent various memories or associations of each person. Playing with how memories and histories are preserved, a digital memory card holding pictures from the corresponding person’s life, from infancy to the present, rest in each model reliquary.