Partition Anti-Memorial Project & Borders and Boundaries Redefined

Friday, Aug 11 – Sep 23, 2023

1957 Sheridan Rd.
Highland Park, IL 60035

The Art Center Highland Park is pleased to present the latest iteration of Pritika Chowdhry’s Unbearable Memories, Unspeakable Histories, part 2: Partition Anti-Memorial Project. Over the last 15 years, Chowdhry created nine anti-memorials honoring the victims of the Partition of India. Chowdhry’s latest anti-memorial will debut at TAC on August 11 and remain on exhibition through September 23. 

On August 15 from 6:00 to 8:00pm, TAC is hosting a commemorative event and artist talk in honor of the end of the yearlong anniversary celebrating the partition.

A public artist reception will be held on September 8 from 5:30 to 8:00 PM, and visitors are invited to view the exhibition, meet the featured artists, and enjoy refreshments and live music.

A Chicago-based artist, Chowdhry was born and raised in India. She holds an MFA in Studio Art and an MA in Visual Culture and Gender Studies from UW-Madison. Chowdhry has taught at Macalester College and the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Unlike traditional memorials—fixed structures dedicated to tragedy that tend to fade into the background of daily life—Chowdhry’s anti-memorials demand viewers' attention. Chowdhry’s “rigorously researched, experiential art installations excavate the traumatic counter-memories of the Partition of India.” Her work gives voice to those who have been lost in the history books, commemorating the casualties of war. 

When Chowdhry proposed a new iteration of the Partition Anti-Memorial Project, TAC curator Caren Helene Rudman jumped at the opportunity. After reading a 2022 article on Chowdhry, ‘Anti-Memorials’ Honor Indian Partition’s Unseen Victims, 75 Years On, in CNN Style, Rudman was impressed by the scope and impact of Chowdhry’s work. Rudman felt there was a strong connection between Chowdhry’s work and the Highland Park community’s recent experience with mass violence. Rudman hopes this exhibition will help us understand the commonality of trauma throughout human history. 

Chowdhry also served as the guest juror for the group show Borders and Boundaries Redefined, which will exhibit alongside her solo exhibition. For this exhibition, TAC asked artists to submit work exploring the impact of arbitrary lines, whether they be geographical or artistic.