Rekha Sameer

Rekha Sameer is an artist based in Buckinghamshire. According to philosopher George Simmel (1858-1918), "The characteristic experience of the modern city is living among strangers who always remain strangers.” Metropolis is a microcosmic representation of the cities we inhabit. It shows nine figures inhabiting a small, dense space, who in spite of their setting remain isolated from one another. The grey colour of the figures, made from clay, reflects the increasing concretisation of cities around the world. The installation of the figures was appropriated from a Navagraha, an Indian altar with 9 statues of planets who never face each other.

The idea for Ambarnath Slow came from the slow train of the same name that runs between the main business district in the south of Mumbai to Ambarnath in the state of Maharashtra, India. “Whilst travelling on the slow train, one sees people defecating with their bottoms exposed. Their faces are shrouded with a shawl to conceal their identities from slower walking traffic. They live in ramshackle slums made out of corrugated metal sheets with no electricity and water. In a crowded city like Mumbai, most are forced to do their most private activities in public.” Though the work might seem cheeky in its visual language, Sameer encourages viewers to engage with its serious undertones.