For Bharti Kher’s first solo exhibition in Germany we chose to show work from the past five years, as well as a large installation specifically conceived for Salon Berlin. It’s in direct dialogue with Gerard Richter’s ‘Grau-Bild’ from the Collection Frieder Burda. That’s what creates the charge in the room. One is deeply masculine and one is sort of quite overtly feminine. There’s no way to enter that grey and on the other side of the room you have this vortex, which is saying “Come in”. ‘Virus VIII’, it’s a time-based work, so it’s a 30-year project and it marks historical moments, but it also marks my life and the life of my family. You see this variation in color constantly changing itself. A lot of my practice is about using ready-made objects you know in the very old and grand tradition of modernism. The bindi works started in about 1998. I like this idea that a small marker placed between the eyes somehow represented what they term in Hinduism is your third eye, so this is the way of seeing. They’re not sort of passive. They also look back at you. In some ways when you think about it, the bindi is a very psychoanalytic way of me looking at the rest of the world. I’m sticking thousands and thousands and thousands of eyes every single day and asking myself “What do you see?”, “How is it that what you’re seeing will change the way that you are?”. The way that I was looking at my body, my sense of space, my sense of individuality as a woman in India changed quite a lot. I’d never been aware of my sexuality in such a very obtuse and obvious manner. I was looking for a way to understand self, my own self, and the many different types of identities that we have as women. You know, smashing the mirror became a bit of a punk statement. It was kind of a radical gesture to say, “Actually, you know what? I’m gonna break like 300 mirrors this year and I don’t care really.” The very feminine reaction to that was also to repair what you destroy. Bindis have gum on them and by sticking many, many, many, suddenly I create this adhesion of surface and material and the mirror holds itself together. When you make the sculpture, there’s a point where the work sits. I do believe that every object has its center of gravity and it’s this perfect state of equilibrium. It’s the culmination of this beautiful positive negative charge. ‘The Intermediaries’, they are clay objects that have been made for religious festivals in India. What I’m doing is I’m sort of cutting them up and breaking them and moving them together to allow them to become something else. As an artist, I think our role is to transform or to create magic from material. This show has been really an interesting way of pulling all the different ideas that I have in the studio and bringing them together.