Texts

Interview with Praneet Soi

Deeply embedded in the forgotten cultural histories of Kashmir, Praneet Soi’s consistent engagement with the traditional craftsmen of the region has articulated a new facet of his practice. In his Srinagar series, Soi combines traditional material in a contrasting form with traditional architectural patterns, alluding to the confluence of diverse belief systems in the history of Kashmir. Soi continues to demonstrate formal combinations with aesthetic value in his works, making his practice unique, complex and investigations in contemporary meaning making.

With the upcoming show of Praneet Soi in Vadehra Art Gallery, Charu Maithani discusses the inspiration, experiences and processes behind his works.

Imago Aevitas – Research on net art in India

The following research posts are for the Sarai blog to illustrate the extent of research conducted under the Short term Media Fellowship by Sarai in 2015.

Dziga Vertov’s Enthusiasm: Examining Ideology in the technique of Montage

The paper analyses the politics of ideology in the cinematic technique of montage.Through cinematic technique of montage by Dziga Vertov in Enthusiasm, the spectator is placed directly in the relations of production. The society dominated by the ruling class ideas, seeps in through the images onscreen to maintain the illusions about the real conditions of existence.

The Idea behind proprioception.in

This piece discusses three main features of the website, proprioception.in, to explicate the current discussion around video and digital art practices online.

On Museum Bhavan

As an artist who works with photographs, Dayanita Singh was never satisfied with an image on the wall. After years of crafting books as a form to engage with photography, Singh’s recent explorations include the photo-sculptural works of Museum Bhavan. The latest and most elaborate showing of Museum Bhavan is on view at Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi. It shows nine mobile museums, each like an Oriental folding screen in which photographs are framed together to create visual story-telling pieces.

Consciousness of Indian art in the global contemporary

It is said that we live in different realities. These realities are made up of temporal divisions and spatial incoherence, far from celebration of a shared culture. They invoke historicity to mark the differences stark, and make them conflicting. The artist has the facility and creative impetus to subvert these realities. Employing different forms of address, the artist can question the creation and contrasts of nationalistic identities, relevance of borders, dislocation of individuals and celebrate the coming together of ideas, rejoice the sharing of experiences and revel in the differences of contemporary setting.

Review: Constructs | Constructions

For a brief period during the 1970s, human civilisation was convinced that it would establish a human colony in outer space within the next decade. Serious plans and designs for such colonies were discussed. But the bubble quickly burst and decades later we are still on earth, tackling problems of urban expansion, unfettered construction in the guise of development, webbing an intricate socio-economic network. Featuring works by 30 Indian modern and contemporary artists, this show interrogates the physical and psychological conditions of such earthly constructions.

Changing contemporary art landscape: Large scale art events in south Asia

Mulk Raj Anand conceived the triennale, Triennale India, in 1968 to present an international contemporary art exhibition in India. It was an attempt to put India on the world map when Venice Biennale and Sao Paulo Biennale were the only two major international art events. With the aim of global positioning of India to build cultural infrastructure, the triennale was met with widespread criticism in India soon after its launch, dissolving its ability to have any impact on global art discourse.

Interview : Rashid Rana and Shilpa Gupta on ‘My East in Your West’, their joint collateral event at  Venice Biennale 2015

My East Is Your West, a collateral event of the Venice Biennale to be held in Palazzo Benzon, is a coming together of two contemporary artists – Shilpa Gupta and Rashid Rana – from India and Pakistan respectively. The project, conceived and organised by Feroze Gujral, the Director and Founder of The Gujral Foundation, addresses the lack of a pavilion from India or Pakistan in the Venice Biennale (yet again). The title is also a provocation to the national pavilions in the Biennale that define a certain position depending upon where one is located.

Glitch and Error: Implications in Aesthetics and Communication

Watching the works of Jodi for the first time was an aesthetic shock. Later I realised that the realm of glitch art that has a solid community of artists, technologists and theorists. The idea of glitch to be used as an aesthetic tool challenged my standard way of thinking – glitch producing something pleasing, or anything other than noise and annoyance, is never encouraged.

War Games / Playing War

As a child of the ’90’s, I liked playing video games. I liked Tetris, Mario and Street Fighter…the arcade games that were easily accessible in the gaming parlours dotted across the locality in which I lived. I’d win some, lose some, but I kept playing. There were also those hand-held games, with the music and firing sounds that most now regard with a degree of sentimentality: familiar, retro game noises. And then, as I grew older, they became Boys Toys. But while I might’ve stopped playing, I crossed over into an interest in the act of game-play, instead of keenness on the games themselves.

Review: St.ART Delhi, 2014

The journey in Shahpur Jat to view St.Art festival is like being on a treasure trail. Even though one knows that the possibility of chancing upon artworks could be at any corner, the feeling of seeing them is full of amazement and admiration. St.Art festival lasted for over two month from 10 January to 23 March putting together a range of activities from murals, exhibition, installations, workshops and film screenings.

Error | Glitch | Noise | Observations on Aesthetic Forms of Failure

We see the world through different forms of projections – cinema, digital, print and also nature (extending Feuerbach’s notion of God being the outward projection of human nature). Characterising the post-modern shift in space-time, computer programs as digital projections have added virtuality in the space-time consortium, transforming its perception. The scope of sharing videos, images, information and knowledge digitally has changed our understanding of the medium and outreach, contributing to the culture and ecology of distribution and communication.

Review: Taipei Biennial 2012 

With more than forty artists, Taipei Binennial 2012 is one of the most successful in its fourteen-year history. During my interaction with the art community in Taipei, many artists and curators appreciated curator Anselm Franke for a commendable job, while admitting that they had not expected this level of understanding of the Taiwanese context from a European curator.

Zero to Shunya

The journey from zero to shunya is an interesting one. From the nullness of zero to the stillness of shunya, the all-encompassing circle includes and excludes everything and nothing. From the failure of being zero to the mysticism of shunya, this circle is the beginning and the end. The duality of this circle, given its diametrically opposite point of views, gives birth to the possibility of being ‘in – between’.

Artist Navin Thomas’ 7 pop culture influences

Navin Thomas’ career goals changed from being the Incredible Hulk, a church pipe organ player to a fruit picker, though currently he’s happy content being an artist.  Viewing Navin Thomas’ artworks is like entering a laboratory that has a minimalist sculpture and an aural engagement of living beings. As an observer, the audience can choose to spend hours recognizing a pattern in the engagement or just relish the innovative conversation between elements.

Viewing through a Prism: Audio and Visual Narratives

While living in this era of new subjectivities, we have found ourselves living in a state of permanent war. As described by Negri and Hardt in their book Multitude: War and Democracy in the age of Empire, permanent war is the permanent state of conflict in the world, where there is no imperial control that binds the world together, but capitalist form of control synchronises cultural hegemony with globalization.

La Jetée through Camera Lucida

La Jetée – the film that received a cult status soon after its release, along with Sans Soleil is regarded as Marker’s best film. Every frame in this film is a black and white photograph. It unites photography and cinema and develops a new language that Philippe Dubois calls “cinématogramme” (cinematogram).