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November 12, 2022 - March 12, 2023
McCaffree Gallery
Arts & Performances

Priya Suresh Kambli's work will be on display Nov. 12, 2022, to Mar. 12, 2023, in the McCaffree Gallery.

I am an American/I am an Indian is an installation of phrases formed with sugar. This exhibition is one component of Priya Suresh Kambli’s larger body of work titled Passport Cancelled as the Holder has Acquired Foreign Nationality. The project was inspired by an experience the artist had in 2011, in which Kambli was required to give up her Indian nationality after becoming an American citizen. There was no room for cultural duality in her passport.

Kambli investigates her identity and its representation using text as a visual anchor, at once claiming and disclaiming certain cultural labels. On one shelf is a positive declaration, for example: “I am an Indian.” Nearby is the response: “I am not your Indian.” Kambli’s use of sugar also carries a dual significance. After visits to India, it is customary to consume something sweet upon departure. This way, the bitterness of leaving might be sweetened. Similarly, in Kambli’s work, the fixed labels we often assign to our identities might be tempered.