Conversations with Imran Qureshi & Ian Altaveer about Qureshi’s Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Manjari Sihare in a tête-à-tête with Imran Qureshi and Ian Altaveer about Qureshi’s Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York: In the recent past, we have brought to you news and snippets about Imran Qureshi’s Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. On the eve of the press launch, I had the pleasure of speaking with Imran Qureshi as well as Ian Altaveer, Associate Curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art about this Commission.

 

In conjunction with the installation, the museum has brought out a comprehensive publication, The Roof Garden Commission: Imran Qureshi, which features a preface by Sheena Wagstaff, the Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of the Museum’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, and an interview with the artist by Navina Najat Haidar, Curator in the Department of Islamic Art, and Ian Alteveer, Associate Curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, both of the Metropolitan Museum, exploring Qureshi’s creative process and the artistic traditions that have informed it.

 

To learn more about the exhibit, click here.

The Saffronart Blog is thankful to the Press Department at the Metropolitan Museum for facilitating these conversations.

Nalini Malani in conversation with Jyotsna Saksena, and Elvan Zabuyan at Kadist Art Foundation

Manjari Sihare shares details of a forthcoming event at the Kadist Art Foundation in Paris

Paris: The Clark House Initiative (Bombay) is currently presenting an exhibition at the Kadist Art Foundation in Paris of three Indian art practitioners, Padmini Chettur, a contemporary dancer, Prajakta Potnis, a visual artist, and Zamthingla Ruivah, a master weaver. The works in the exhibition are in dialogue with those of a group of Indian artists who were living in Paris in May 1968, including Nalini Malani, Krishna Reddy and polymath artist and magician Jean Bhownagary.

Nalini Malani, "For the Dispossessed", 1971  Image courtesy: Kadist Art Foundation, Paris

Nalini Malani, “For the Dispossessed”, 1971
Image courtesy: Kadist Art Foundation, Paris

The Kadist Art Foundation and the Clark House Initiative have organized a series of public events around the exhibit, one of which is a conversation between Nalini Malani, political analyst Jyotsna Saksena, and art historian Elvan Zabuyan on Friday, 24 May at 7 pm. The talk will center around Malani’s time in Paris which she describes as a ‘prise de conscience’. She has lent to the exhibition a small papier mache head, ‘For the Dispossessed’ made in Paris in 1971 of the vivid pages of Le Nouvel Observateur, and referencing photographs of refugees fleeing the genocide during the Bangladesh Liberation War. The head also references what was happening in Paris at the time, demonstrations for Angela Davis, and protests of the Vietnam War.

Event details:

Friday 24 May, 7pm: Nalini Malani, Jyotsna Saksena, and Elvan Zabuyan in conversation at the Kadist Art Foundation, 19 bis-21 rue des Trois Frères, F-75018 Paris.
tél. +33 1 42 51 83 49www.kadist.org

Click here for more details.

Clark House Initiative (Bombay) presents L’exigence de la saudade at the Kadist Art Foundation, Paris

Padmini Chettur, choreography notes for 'Pushed' 2005-6 Image courtesy: Clark House Initiative, Bombay

Padmini Chettur, choreography notes for ‘Pushed’ 2005-6
Image courtesy: Clark House Initiative, Bombay

Manjari Sihare shares details of an exhibit that opened today at the Kadist Art Foundation in Paris

Paris: Mumbai’s Clark House Initiative opened an exhibition entitled L’exigence de la saudade at the Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, today. The exhibition is curated by Zasha Colah and Sumesh Sharma who are currently curators in residence at the Kadist Art Foundation. Quoting the show’s press release, “the exhibition brings together three artists from distant geographies within India – Padmini Chettur, a contemporary dancer, Prajakta Potnis, a visual artist, and Zamthingla Ruivah, a master weaver, whose works are conceptually engaged with remnant cultural forms, not as endangered traditions, rather to reinvent them in the present. These reinventions spring from the exigencies of political anguish, or the scouring for identities and representations, after the violence of cultural amnesia, experienced over the numbing of years as a kind of saudade. These artists create a complex backdrop of the Indian subcontinent, too culturally conjoined to other geographies for any sense of the nation to arise. In this word saudade, as in the name ‘Bombay’ (bom baía), is heard the persistence of a Portuguese past. Exigency and saudade, retain the tension of opposites; the consciousness of the past in the present, which permits the envisaging of what is still to come.”

Padmini Chettur was trained in a tradition of dance, revived in the 1930s after a century of forced amnesia. She displaces the choreographic tradition to a minimalistic language, which visually translates philosophical concepts of time and space as they relate to contemporary experience. The sculptural reliefs of lace and light, realised in situ by Prajakta Potnis come out of her observation of fissures or peeling walls, as witnesses of the social imaginary of the people who live within them. Zamthingla Ruivah revives the tradition of weaving, from the north-east of India, to narrate the events of a community. However, the stories she puts into geometric form, testify to a brutal political history.

In the exhibition, the works will be in dialogue with those of certain Indian artists who were living in Paris in May 1968. Nalini Malani described her time in Paris as a ‘prise de conscience’. She lends to the exhibition a small papier mache head, ‘For the Dispossessed’ made in Paris in 1971, out of the vivid pages of Le Nouvel Observateur, and referencing photographs of refugees fleeing the genocide during the Bangladesh Liberation War. The head also references what was happening in Paris at the time, demonstrations for Angela Davis, and protests of the Vietnam War. ‘Demonstrators’ a sculpture by Krishna Reddy, is an eidetic memory of students outside his window in Paris in 1968. The last is a series of sketches made in Paris that year, by the polymath artist and magician Jean Bhownagary. Certain cues and gestures – of dance, theatre, magic or music – can come close to those used in protest marches, and fall under social engagement, as much as art. The exhibition intertwines artistic practice with historical contexts, to understand the manoeuvring possibilities of culture.

Details of the exhibit:

L’exigence de la saudade 
Friday 17 May, 6-9pm: opening of the exhibition at Kadist Art Foundation – Gallery
dates and hours: 18 May – 28 July 2013 | Thur-Sun 2-7pm
Kadist Art Foundation, 19 bis-21 rue des Trois Frères, F-75018 Paris.
tél. +33 1 42 51 83 49www.kadist.org

Artists
Padmini Chettur, Prajakta Potnis, Zamthingla Ruivah

With the participation of: Jean Bhownagary, Tyeb Mehta, Nalini Malani, Krishna Reddy, Maarten Visser

Cues: Yogesh Barve, Judy Blum, Sachin Bonde, Poonam Jain, Mangesh Kapse,
Carla Montenegro, Amol Patil, Nikhil Raunak, Amrita Sher-Gil, Alexandre Singh
in a place hidden: Prabhakar Pachpute in the public realm: Justin Ponmany

The Otolith Group’s Medium Earth at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, Los Angeles

Guest blogger Tracy Buck visits the Otolith Group’s Medium Earth, currently on view at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater in LA 

Los Angeles: The Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) is currently exhibiting the video installation Medium Earth (2013), commissioned by REDCAT and created by London-based artist collective The Otolith Group. The 41-minute film complicates and poeticizes our relationship to seismic activity, its unpredictability and fickleness, and explores its consequence on the otherwise solid entities of rock landscape and on our own bodies.

A “notebook” or “essay” film, the work is the result of research undertaken throughout California, and is conceived of as notes towards the making of a future project. Images that vary in scale from hairline crack to sweeping landscape, that juxtapose the seemingly unchanging stillness of rock with the rush of freeway traffic, and that include banal city parking structures as well as seemingly primordial boulder outcrops underlie sections of voice-over that explore geo-poetics and the biological sensitivities of earthquake predictors such as Charlotte King.

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To capture the tension associated with the hidden and invisible forces below the surface of the earth through the use of moving images — a medium arguably at odds with geological drama — the film manipulates scale and employs sonic resonances in addition to voice-over. The title of the work recalls, but, I argue, also reverses the underlying gesture of the Land Art movement of the 1960s–70s, in which earth became the medium. Intricately linked to the American Southwest, Land Art artists such as Robert Smithson transformed land into site-specific sculpture in their consideration of issues such as temporal scale, human and geological physicality, and the sculpture of landscape. Medium Earth reverses this understanding by considering and assigning agency to the space deeper than the surface of the landscape. Rather than conceiving of the earth as available for sculptural manipulation, instead boulders, the strata of parking structures anchored in the earth, the freeways that span it, and even our bodies themselves are the mediums used by seismic force, and are acted on and marked by the secret tectonic underside of the earth.

These forces below the surface accordingly become characters with personified qualities, much like, as Aram Moshayedi has stated in the exhibition literature, an ancient god whose whims, caprice, and scale of time, as it relates to our own lives, we struggle to comprehend.  In the case of Charlotte King, whose words are performed as voice-over in the film, the land is mapped onto her body — her limbs, head, back, and stomach are correlated to regions in the world and seismic disruptions are anticipated and felt in her body as physical symptoms. Our bodies become much like the landscape: affected, troubled, and shifted by what we cannot see and can only partially predict. “Even stones worry,” as Aram Moshayedi puts it, because “faults hardly keep their promises.”

Medium Earth marks the first work produced by The Otolith Group in an American context, and is on display in the timely midst of small-scale Southern California earthquakes of increasing frequency in recent weeks. The work explores the agency of tectonic forces and presents itself as a project of waiting, listening, translating, of the manipulation of temporal scale and of agency. It will remain on display till June 16, 2013.

Guest Contributor Tracy Buck is currently pursuing a PhD in Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles.  She holds MA degrees in South Asian Cultures and Languages and in Museum Studies, and has worked in the Collections Management and Curatorial departments of several history and art museums.

Sakshi Gupta, Mariam Suhail and Avinash Veeraraghavan at Tilton Gallery, New York

Shradha Ramesh of Saffronart visits an exhibition of works by three Indian artists at New York’s Tilton Gallery

New York: Tilton Gallery in New York, housed in a historic town house on the Upper East Side, recently opened an exhibition of the work of three artists residing in India – Sakshi Gupta, Mariam Suhail and Avinash Veeraraghavan.

Sakshi Gupta Untitled, 2012 Metal scrap 43 x 49 x 8 inches Image credit: Jack Tilton Gallery, New York

Sakshi Gupta
Untitled, 2012
Metal scrap
43 x 49 x 8 inches
Image credit: Jack Tilton Gallery, New York

I was greeted by Sakshi Gupta’s biomorphic rendition depicting the passage of time at the entrance of the exhibition. There is an instantaneous emotional connection with the smooth integration of form and texture in this piece. The swell, flow and splatter of forms inspired by nature have an implied impact of turning point in one’s life. The art connoisseur in me was intrigued by Gupta’s minimalistic representation of the metamorphosis of life her.

As I walked up the stairs I was awe struck by Veeraraghavan’s burst of colors and patterns. A new media installation under the fireplace was sheer eye candy. The artist’s juxtaposition of photographic patterns was skilfully designed. His works are influenced by both art and design. ‘Rest in Peace’ is a classic example of this, in which he seamlessly interweaves design principles and artistic form. He continues the combination of overlaying patterns in a series of small prints on display –‘Between Faith and Spam’. This made me think his work served a dual purpose: it was more than a mere photograph or installation, it was well designed.

Avinash Veeraraghavan Rest in Peace, 2012 Laser-cut Gicl�e prints    Image credit: Jack Tilton Gallery, New York

Avinash Veeraraghavan
Rest in Peace, 2012
Laser-cut Giclee prints
Image credit: Jack Tilton Gallery, New York

I was also engrossed by the interplay of language and partial form in Mariam Suhail’s work. The illustrations on display were her representations of partial perceptions of objects. The central barrel-like form was represented in a partial positions of being dipped in liquid. The works looked like simple draft sketches with permanent marker, and this simple and uncluttered presentation extended to her textual works too. She played with space and text in the same way she did with form, evoking a uniform, buoyant emotion of simplicity.

 Mariam Suhail Installation View Image credit: Jack Tilton Gallery, New York

Mariam Suhail
Installation View
Image credit: Jack Tilton Gallery, New York

Tilton Gallery is known for promoting acclaimed contemporary artists from across the world, including artists such as David Hammons, Marlene Dumas, Fred Tomaselli, Huang Yong Ping and Francis Alys. The gallery is located walking distance from the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the Frick Museum, so make a day of it and visit this exhibition!

To learn more about the show, click here.

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