Originally associated with the group of painters that have come to be known as The Baroda School who pioneered a use of historical reference, allegory, figuration and narrative to address socio-political concerns, Malani’s works of the past ten years have focused on large-scale video installations using multiple projections. Malani’s installations are energized by the familiar immediacy of video and filmic languages, and often utilize her own drawings and projected animations as one component within larger works. Malani’s practice has been described as a “site for playing out the utopias and anxieties of all that is seen as being ‘outside’ the given agendas, programs and reassurances that shape our present.” Using texts that have been generated through the memories of those who are often ignored or sidelined by the canons of history, Malani uses her practice to draw attention to ‘other’ stories.
While in residence Malani prepared work for the iCon: India Contemporary, a pavilion representing Indian artists at the 2005 Venice Biennale called Mother India, Transactions in the Construction of Pain. For her piece she used a text by sociologist Veena Das in which Das discusses the horrors of Partition. Malani will project video imagery through acrylic sheeting that has been painted with references to traditional Indian art and mythology. Employing compelling imagery from the Gujarat genocide of 2002 along with images relating to the Partition of India in 1947, Malani constructs a visual theatrical narrative with potent political content.
Malani’s work has been included in important international exhibitions such as the 2005 show Edge of Desire, Recent Art in India at the Asia Society in New York, at the 2003 Istanbul Biennale, and a solo show at The New Museum in New York in 2002. Malani will be having an international traveling solo show starting at the Museum of Modern Art in Dublin in 2007. The work she created at Montalvo will be part of that show.