Map of Pain

This work is based on Dante’s vision of hell as illustrated by Botticelli and the systemic repression of the marginalised in modern India. This work maps time, history, memory, through figures borrowed from different periods, on to Botticelli’s map of the hell. Paul Klee/Walter Benjamin’s Angel of History, also illustrated in this painting, is ambiguously positioned as if falling into a bottomless pit or perhaps rising above the destruction of the past. Though it appears depressing, harking of uncertainty, this painting was created in the hope that we will learn our lessons from the past and reshape the future before it is too late.

Varunika Saraf, 2017