Situated within the broader discourse on humanization and labour, Surabhi Saraf's 'Remedies' is
inspired by her family's pharmaceutical factory in Indore. Workers at the factory produce tablets,
capsules and syrups, using quasi-archaic machinery. Re-imagining the space through abstraction and
performance, Saraf alludes to the immersive qualities of the mechanical and the monotonous.
Each installation comprises an independent video box, and a wall projection. The minimally constructed
video boxes display, on four sleek peripheral monitors, close-ups of the assembly line. Colourful pills
find their way into shimmery packages, the occasional human intervention breaking the monotony. The
wall projections feature performers enacting a choreographed sequence to echo the motions of the
equipment and the factory workers.
To quote Genevieve Quick in her article 'Mechanized Bodies: Anxiety and Healing in a Global
Economy', "Surabhi Saraf’s two video installations poetically explore the mechanization of the body with
teams of performers. The performers push carts, and sort and package pills. They also throw and sift
powders, alluding to the raw materials in the processing of medicines. The activity creates clouds of
dust with an almost mystical atmosphere. Saraf’s intense sound, choreography, and environment
transform the robotic and alienated motions of manufacturing into a ritualized dance of healing."
Surabhi Saraf was born in Indore, India, in 1983. She earned a BFA in Painting from the M.S. University
in Baroda, and an MFA in Art and Technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago,
USA. Saraf has held solo exhibitions at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai (2012), and
Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco (2014). Participations include among numerous others, 'PLUS ONE',
Space@The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, USA (2015); Performance Festival, Thessaloniki Biennale of
Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece (2015); 'We Are Ours', Khoj International Artist Association,
New Delhi (2013); New World New Sequences, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, USA
(2012); and 'Synchrony: Contemporary Video', Hunter Museum of American Art, Tennessee, USA
(2012). Saraf is a recipient of the 2015 Eureka Fellowship Award. She lives and works in San Francisco.