Johanna Fateman

Avijit Hadler

The New Yorker


This young New York-based artist, who grew up in Kolkata, India, has created an intimate multimedia environment, at once heartbreaking and louche. Among the recent photographs on view is a nude self-portrait: a reflection, in a cracked mirror, of Halder reclining in a rumpled bed with his cat and a cigarette. The centerpiece is a beautiful makeshift tent, made of the artist’s late mother’s colorful saris, in which videos are projected. Two of them show Halder wrapping himself in the diaphanous fabrics; a third excerpts the 2004 documentary “Born Into Brothels.” (The artist was one of the children featured in the film.) In the short clip, the director’s suspicion that Halder’s mother was murdered by her pimp rather than killed in an accidental kitchen fire is discussed. The last loop shows a sudden, frightening blaze as Halder lights a kerosene stove.