Talk by Atul Bhalla in Johannesburg

Manjari Sihare shares details of Atul Bhalla’s talk and residency program in Johannesburg 

Johannesburg: For those living in or visiting South Africa, contemporary Indian artist, Atul Bhalla will be delivering a talk titled “Immersions” on August 14, 2012, at the School of Visual Art, Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg. Bhalla pursued his undergraduate (BFA) and graduate (MFA) studies in Fine Art from the Delhi University and the School of Art of Northern Illinois University respectively. His work has been included in several museum exhibitions, most notably in the Newark Museum’s ‘INDIA: Public Places, Private Spaces’, the Fotographie Forum Frankfurt’s ‘Watching me – Watching India: New Photography from India’, and the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum Triennial.

Bhalla explores the physical, historical, spiritual, and political significance of water to the urban environment and population of his city (New Delhi) in his artworks in different media including sculpture, painting, installation, video, photography and performance. This talk draws its title, ‘Immersions’, from a series of works in which Bhalla uses sand taken directly from the progressively contaminated Yamuna river in Delhi to make concrete casts of portable water containers. These casts are then placed in water-filled vitrines, drawing a connection between Delhi’s historical source for water and the disposable containers of today, now absent of any spiritual connection. In an e-interview with Saffronart, Bhalla revealed that in this talk, he will be discussing ‘Water and the Performative’, the theme that pervades his most recent works.

Bhalla is in Johannesburg for a six-week residency program at the Nirox Foundation, a private not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of global contemporary arts in Africa. This foundation is set in the extensive nature reserve of Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in the Gauteng Province of the Republic of South Africa. Read more about the residency program.

To learn more about Atul Bhalla’s work, click here.

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