John Hansard Gallery is proud to present the first UK showing of Jitish Kallat’s immersive installation Covering Letter (2012).
Taking the form of words projected onto a curtain of cascading fog, Covering Letter presents an historical letter by Mahatma Gandhi to Adolf Hitler, written just weeks before the start of World War II. In the spirit of his principle of universal friendship, Gandhi begins the letter with the greeting “Dear friend.” Mist diffuses Gandhi’s projected words, echoing the fate of his message, which went unheeded. Kallat describes this correspondence as a plea from a great advocate of peace to one of the most violent individuals who ever lived. It is equally an open invitation for self-reflection, as its scrolling words speak to the extreme violence in the world today.
In Covering Letter, Kallat artist revisits potent historical documents, drawing attention to the possibilities of peace and tolerance in a world plagued by violence, control, and surveillance.