Space Oddity performed by Nikhil Chopra

Shradha Ramesh of Saffronart reports on Wolverhampton Art Gallery’s venture with artist Nikhil Chopra

New York: Nikhil Chopra explores the culture of South Asian community and portraiture through ‘Space Oddity’, through an eighteen hour live performance.

Space Oddity is a collaborative contemporary art program by National Trust,Oriel Davis and Wave- Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Meadows Art in collaboration with Shakti, a retrospective response to socio-economic transition in UK and the subcontinent. The overaching theme of the exhibition that is held across Midlands, Wales,Powis Castle and Kedleston Hall explores the power of creative engagement and channels. Wolverhampton Art Gallery invited artist to create a visual commentary on their South Asian art and Indian artefacts.

Founded in 1884, Wolverhampton Art Gallery houses artworks from UK and abroad. The art collection spans over 300 years of art that reflects both 20th British Art collection and 21st art from across the globe.          

Nikhil Chopra, Inside Out, 99 hour site specific performance, 2012. Photo: Shivani Gupta, Costumes: Sabine Pfisterer.

Nikhil Chopra, Inside Out, 99 hour site specific performance, 2012. Photo: Shivani Gupta, Costumes: Sabine Pfisterer. Image Credit: http://www.artlyst.com/articles/indian-performance-artist-nikhil-chopra-to-create-18hour-piece-in-wolverhampton

 Nikhil Chopra’s Space Oddity is a visual documentary of the South Asian community. Space Oddity the title is derived from the 1969 song by David Bowie, the exhibit reflects the socio and economic evolution of London from women’s rights, the empowerment of the working class, booming Western economies and hundreds of thousands of migrants from former English colonies.

Curator Jane Morrow’s responses to the concept “Wolverhampton Art Gallery holds an extensive collection of South Asian art and Indian artefacts, which are testament to the Victorian craze for ‘exoticism’. We are delighted that Nikhil Chopra will be visiting Wolverhampton and responding to our collection with a performance piece specially created for the city.”He would produce charcoal drawings members of Wolverhampton’s South Asian community and gallery onlookers as a way of reflecting Colonial India and examining the role of portraiture.

Born in Calcultta, Nikhil Chopra (b 1974) works in Mumbai. The artist works in the realm of photography, drawing and performance centered on Colonial India and personal experience.

Nikhil Chopra, Inside Out, 2012

Nikhil Chopra, Inside Out, 2012. Image Credit: http://www.wolverhamptonart.org.uk/events/shakti-nikhil-chopra/

Internationally recognized, Chopra is known for his performance such as Making Worlds at the 53rd Venice Biennale, Coal on Cotton at Manchester International Festival, 2013, Manchester and his character Yog Raj Chitrakar: Memory Drawing II, 2007 Chatterjee & Lal, Mumbai. Working across disciplines he leaves an ephemeral visual footprint by blurs the boundaries between artwork and the audience space through integration of drawing and performance. Chopra graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at M.S. University,Baroda, Maryland Institute of Baltimore and Ohio state university. In 2007, he was chosen as resident artist at Khoj International Association.

Three day live performance featuring Nikhil Chopra, Space Oddity, will run from 28th November to 30th November, 2013.

To Know More Click here

 

The House of Illusion

Shradha Ramesh of Saffronart reports on the much talked about Dalston House

New York: Leandro Erlich’s (b 1973) installation at Dalston House defies all artistic and scientific laws. The Victorian style facade placed against a reflective surface creates a transcending delusional fantasy space. A unique space, where anyone who comes in contact with the work becomes a super hero with his/her supernatural abilities. Elrich has created a new visual language that traverses disciplines such as art, architecture and physics.

Elrich is known for his interplay of real life objects and surreal imaging. He takes familiar day to day objects and fuses them with illusionistic settings. Some of his works that embody allegorical references are Monte-Meubles, L’ultime Déménagement (2012) shown at Le Voyage à Nantes, France, which is a facsimile of Dalton House, Swimming Pool (1999) and Elevator Pitch (2011) shown at Sean Kelly Gallery, New York. He believes his artwork is complete only when the viewer interacts and experiences it.

My first interaction with the artist’s work was at Miami Art Basel Fair with his Single Cloud Collection (2012).

Monte Meubles, Leonardo Elrich

Monte Meubles, Leonardo Elrich. Image Credit: http://www.leandroerlich.com.ar/works.php?id=27

Argentinean by birth, the installation artist lives and works between Buenos Aires and Paris. His artistic journey started at home under the influence of his father who is an architect. However, Elrich draws inspiration from everywhere, including literary Argentinian forebear Jorge Luis Borges’s found objects and even the works of film directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Roman Polanski, Luis Buñel and David Lynch.

Elrich is internationally acclaimed and has participated at both the Venice and Whitney biennales. His works have been exhibited in various global forums and even in private and public museums.

Swimming Pool, Leonardo Elrich

Swimming Pool, Leonardo Elrich. Image Credit: http://www.leandroerlich.com.ar/works.php?id=27

The Dalston House installation will be open to the public until August 4, 2013 courtesy of the Barbican Center, a multi-arts and conference venue in London.

Relic by Damien Hirst lands in Doha

Elizabeth Prendiville of SaffronArt announces the newest Damien Hirst exhibition “Relic” in Qatar

New York: Controversial, price-boosting artist Damien Hirst will debut his solo exhibition “Relic” in Qatar this Fall from October 10th– January 22nd. In addition to this being Hirst’s first show in the middle east it will be his largest thus far in his career. “Relic” will be produced by Qatar Museums Authority at the Alriwaq Doha exhibition space and curated by Italian art writer, curator and critic Francesco Bonami.  Prior to taking on this exhibition, Bonami has had a wildly successful career with highlights including his role as the artistic director of the Venice Biennale in 2003.

“Relic” will serve as a retrospective of the last twenty-five years of Hirst’s career. It will debut new and unseen works as well as display signature pieces such as his formaldehyde animals from “Human Nature” and his controversial diamond encrusted skull “For the Love Of God”.  Although Hirst himself is from the UK, these notorious iconographic pieces have contributed to his illustrious career and reputation in the international art scene.

For the Love of God, Damien Hirst, 2007

For the Love of God, Damien Hirst, 2007. Image Credit: http://www.damienhirst.com/for-the-love-of-god

Throughout this past year, Qatar’s art scene has shown a trend of depicting the dialogue between the Middle East art market and the UK market. Hirst’s blockbuster exhibition will serve as a culmination of the “Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture”.

Hirst has inspired a flux in the high-end art market both in the UK and internationally.  This quality makes his show ideal for Qatar, a country with the highest per capita income in the world. This strong and ever-growing art market makes it the ideal location for Hirst to display his work.

Funding for the exhibition comes from the Sheikha Al-Mayassa who Art + Auction named the most powerful person in the art world in 2011.  The Qatar art market’s environment, similar to the price driven world of Gagosian, will be the ideal setting for Hirst to thrive.

To read more click here.

 

Nalini Malani: Fukuoka Prize Award Winner 2013

Elizabeth Prendiville of Saffronart shares a note about Nalini Malani’s Arts and Culture Fukuoka Prize

Nalini Malani Working at Home, Mumbai, 2013

Nalini Malani Working at Home, Mumbai, 2013. Image Credit: http://fukuoka-prize.org/en/laureate/prize/cul/nalinima.php

New York: Acclaimed Asian artist Nalini Malani was awarded the Fukuoka Arts and Culture Prize 2013. The Fukuoka Prize (Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize) was inaugurated in 1990 with the intent of promoting and understanding the distinctive cultures of Asia and it celebrates those who have made outstanding contributions to academia, arts, and culture in Asia.

Malani is most notably known for her large scale paintings and installations.  Her work focuses on controversial and intricate topics such as religion, gender, war and nature.

Nalini Malani Installing the Retrospective Exhibition, Nalini Malani: Splitting the Other at Musèe Cantonal des Beaux Arts, Lausanne, 2010

Nalini Malani Installing the Retrospective Exhibition, Nalini Malani: Splitting the Other at Musèe Cantonal des Beaux Arts, Lausanne, 2010. Image Credit: http://fukuoka-prize.org/en/laureate/prize/cul/nalinima.php

Born in Pakistan, Malani received her primary art education at the Sir JJ School of Art in Mumbai. She then went on to pursue her artistic studies in Paris with a scholarship awarded from the government of France.  She now works primarily in Mumbai, but her work displays a variety of international inspirations. Additionally, she was the curator of the first all female organized exhibition in India, Through the Looking Glass. Malani is well known both in India and internationally for creating memorable work that takes on controversial topics, even in the most conservative art markets. From this international perspective, she addresses great universal problems that our world faces today.  Her dedication to discuss these issues through her work has opened international opportunities in esteemed institutions such as The New Museum in New York City, the Venice Biennale and the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum in Japan.

Listening to the Shades 7, Nalini Malani, 2008

Listening to the Shades 7, Nalini Malani, 2008. Image Credit: http://www.nalinimalani.com/painting/shades.htm

Although she has chosen very controversial themes for her work, Malani balances these with a classic and historical aesthetic. She utilizes traditional Indian motifs as well as employing a mystical use of color and light in her work.

This internationally influenced and applauded artist is a commendable recipient of the Fukuoka Arts and Culture Prize 2013. On September 14, Malani will give a lecture in Fukuoka titled “For a More Progressive Society-The Potentials in Our World and Arts”.

To learn more about the Fukuoka Prize and Arts and Culture Prize winner Nalini Malani click here.

Bharti Kher on India’s Absence at the Venice Biennale

Elisabetta Marabotto of Saffronart shares Bharti Kher’s letter on the absence of India at the Venice Biennale

To Whom It May Concern (if at all)
As I sit these mornings and look at my mailbox something about where I’m from and at bothers me as the news from Venice Biennale filters in:  pavilions from Angola (population 19.6 million, civil wars 1975 to 2002) Azerbaijan (9.173 million) Bangladesh, Tuvalu (population 9,847)  …yes smaller than Lajpat Nagar! Iraq, Kuwait, Maldives, Montenegro, special participations from Palestine, Tibet…. etc. We didn’t bother to make it happen. Again. It’s a catalyst perhaps to move, a truth of other happenings that remain unresolved. Nagging issues that plague us in India.

A country with no art is like a child with no parents. The child grows up unable to love without envy and mistrust. Deprived of affection warmth and care, most likely develops poor and problematic social skills. The orphan will rarely laugh at itself when self depreciation is a fundamental tool of critique and wont know a mother who has stories to share and songs to pass on; an accumulation of associations that are sweet even sublime just pass by. Skin that can be caressed and the smells of those things primal and intrinsic have not been etched or marked on the body. Instead, memories and lessons are hard and practical: survival, power, money, and make friends with those you need.

The fear of the future and possible failures are veiled in arrogance and bravado. Who cares anyway, no one is looking at me, so why bother with how I look, forget outwardly appearances or more poignant perhaps: why bother with my soul, when no one has nourished it? Self-respect or pride isn’t the problem; there is that in abundance, to oblivion. Its indifference and apathy, that runs like a wild rabid dog, frothing and foaming. Insipid bile that rises from an empty stomach, electric envy of green; staining blood red, Judas yellow, Kali’s black teeth, and the whiteness of that albino whale, crashing-crushing like the battle inside the belly of that dog.When we sent our specialists(i heard 35 or so) from the Indian government last year to witness our first participation in 116 years, with their junkets and ice-cream coupons, didn’t they see that Venice
was about the art and sharing of ideas and not fake handbags or
collecting masks? Maybe they forgot, maybe they were busy eating ice cream on a hand carved wooden gondolas. What was I doing?  What can I do now? If we cant play with the stuff of dreams anymore, where will be the invention? If we can’t bear witness, how will there be a memory of the things that should never be forgotten.You can say, “who cares” … nationalist agendas are not relevant anymore. I agree. Art is not relevant because it cannot change the world. I agree. But we can’t escape apathy and indifference and I’m not talking about politics, I’m talking about love.

BHARTI KHER
Boston 28th may 2013

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