‘Paradise Now’ brings together works that Ernst has shown variously in and includes video, installation and digital prints.
The centrepiece of the exhibition revolves around the nineteen foot scale installation Jannat. The installation comprises of a large cut-out of the word ‘come’ inside the gallery space and a video projected on the letters. When viewed from any angle, ‘come’ resembles the way words are painted (like a block) on the top of landscapes in Pakistani rickshaw paintings. The image consists of trees, mountains, lake, birds and a boat. Her work is an ironic comment on the concept of ideal place in the popular imagination: probably paradise, as is suggested with the word Jannat written in the shape of a boat amid the landscape.
The second set of video projections is from a series called Dying Gauls. These are plaster casts of Hellenistic sculptures on which video interviews of young men from Lahore are superimposed. The men are asked about their image of heaven, hell and dying. The sculptures cannot be viewed/approached without layers of other meanings (visuals) on them. At this time of insecurity this visually arresting image is pregnant with disturbing possibilities.
Other works in the show include video works and stills. Together the exhibition forms the most complete showing of Ernst’s work in India and marks the opening of the Chatterjee & Lal gallery in Colaba, Mumbai.