EXHIBITION "Frozen World of The Familiar Stranger", hosted in collaboration with Kadist, San Francisco at KHOJ Studios, S-17, Khirkee Extension > 8th December 2016 to 11th January 2017
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Time : 11:00 am - 7:00 pm Add to Calendar 08/12/2016 11:00 11/01/2017 19:00 Asia/Kolkata EXHIBITION "Frozen World of The Familiar Stranger", hosted in collaboration with Kadist, San Francisco Event Page : http://www.delhievents.com/2016/12/exhibition-frozen-world-of-familiar.html KHOJ Studios, S-17, Khirkee Extension, New Delhi - 110017 DD/MM/YYYY
Entry : Free
Venue : KHOJ Studios, S-17, Khirkee Extension, New Delhi - 110017
Venue Info : khojworkshop.org | Nearest Metro Station - 'Malviya Nagar (Yellow Line) Exit Gate - 3'
Area : Saket
Event Description : EXHIBITION "Frozen World of The Familiar Stranger", hosted in collaboration with Kadist, San Francisco.
In yet another ground breaking show, Khoj International Artists’ Association presents Frozen World of the Familiar Stranger, a group show of video installations, performances and artworks featuring ten Indian and international artists.
The featured artists are Cao Fei (China), Farideh Lashai (Iran), Himali Singh Soin (India), Ho Tzu Nyen (Singapore), Kartik Sood (India), Maya Watanabe (Peru), Rachel Rose (USA), Sahej Rahal (India), Steffani Jemison (USA) and Tejal Shah (India). The exhibition is the result of a curatorial collaboration between KADIST (an experimental arts space in San Francisco), and Khoj International Artists’ Association, New Delhi). It is co-curated by Sitara Chowfla (Khoj) and Heidi Rabben (KADIST).
The exhibition was earlier held at Kadist San Francisco in October-November 2016 and is now slated to travel to Khoj Studios in Delhi from December 8 till January 11, 2017.
Says Sitara Chowfla, curator, Khoj Studios, “Frozen World of the Familiar Stranger reflects upon the uncanny sensation of the ultra-modern global megalopolis, and the increasing sense of alienation we encounter in our flattening world. Through works exploring isolation, confinement, collapse, transience, anxieties, and fantasies of inhabiting collective urban space, Frozen World offers an almost satirical point of view on the human condition and what it means to be alive together in the present, and in the constructed future.”
Chinese artist Cao Fei (b. 1978, China) is showing a video work titled La Town (2014) that places us in the midst of an envisaged, incipient, either recently past or impending catastrophe. Using tiny models, the artist creates a world suspended somewhere between reality and dystopia, a ‘world community’ in miniature, where a happy coexistence is no more than a promise, a brief interlude in the unrelenting tide of a violent, destructive history. Overlaid with a French existential narrative, La Town poses serious questions about the future of humanity, isolation, and connectivity in a city that is at once no city and every city. Cao Fei is one of the most influential figures from the generation of Chinese artists that emerged on the global scene in the last decade. Her work, inspired by Asian pop culture, vividly reflects the changes in image production, lifestyle, culture, and identity in relation to globalization.
The wall-based sound and projected animation on painting work by Iranian artist Farideh Lashai (b. 1944, Iran - d. 2003) is titled Keep your Stomach Empty; That you Mayest Behold Therein the Light of Interior (Sani-ol-Molk), 2010. Inspired by a 19th century painting by the legendary Iranian artist Sani-ol-Molk, the work symbolizes a narrative of fear and of resistance, which are recurring themes in Lashai’s work, and life. In the painting, the grand Mullahs from Sani-ol-Molk’s depictions come together at a feast, reading the Quran and saying their prayers. Suddenly, a rabbit appears within the scene wanting to nibble at their feast, and gets repeatedly shooed away as an animal intruding into their domain. Restored to life, the characters of the original painting symbolize decades of ideology, doctrine and militarism that seem to be rendered timeless. Holding the Quran in one hand, the Mullahs nonetheless hold the stick of oppression in the other.
Indian artist Himali Singh Soin (b. 1987, India) is showing a video work titled Radar Level, the background footage of which was shot in Mongolia on location where the first dinosaur egg was found. Radar Level is set in the world’s last geological minutes, in two ancient landscapes. One is in the northern hemisphere in Mongolia and the other beneath the southern constellation of Namibia on its old waters. The split projection reverses between desert and water. Dissolving in these images are found photographs of humans in spacesuits before the space age, gearing up for the end of life, for a distant voyage, for protection or for colonial imitation. Just as the title itself is a palindrome, here, the extinction of the past looks like the extinction of the future. The sound is a combination of dinosaur sounds and outer space vibrations, both anterior to human existence, yet only known through anthropocentric, technological re-imaginings. Soin will also be conducting a series of performances based on her video work on December 8 (8 p.m.), December 10 (5 p.m.), December 17 (5 p.m.) and January 11 (5 p.m.).
Singapore-based Ho Tzu Nyen (b. 1976) is showing a video work titled The Cloud of Unknowing 2011 that is titled after a fourteenth century mystical treatise on faith, where the cloud is paradoxically a metaphor for both an impediment to, and reconciliation with, the unknown or the divine experience. Set in a deserted, low-income public housing block in Singapore, the film revolves around 8 characters in 8 apartments, each in the midst of an activity that brings them into an encounter with a cloud, that alternates between being embodied in a figure, and as a vaporous mist. In the moment of encounter, a shift, transformation or illumination occurs that, as the medieval text counsels, is effected in a direct experience of the senses, instead of being understood with the mind.
Indian artist Kartik Sood (b. 1986) is showing a mixed-media work consisting of two videos, mixed media painting, and two sculptures in iron and clay titled Alone Among Many 2016. His work explores the character’s experience of loneliness in an urban environment. The ironic loneliness in the crowded structures of the city and the subsequent search for solace within it–an act of illusion in itself–forms the prelude to his inquiry. Sood’s imagery could well be scenes from a dream. Ranging in format from photos to sculpture, video installations alongside renditions on paper and paintings, Sood's works become objects of closer introspection with every perceptible glance–almost like a recollection.
Peruvian artist Maya Watanabe (b.1983, Peru) is showing a video work titled El Contorno (Contour, 2011). In El Contorno, (Contour), questions about the performance of a body in space arise: How much space does a body occupy? Do spatial coordinates shape our movements and displacements? A tripartite choreography among the actors eradicates notions of inside and outside, the interior and the exterior of the scene. Here speech isn’t located but interspersed among the narrators. They manage their poetic expressions and their actions as a dismembered unit. What is located in the verbal language is transferred to the visual field. As the artist says, “To see makes us subjects of the video. To be [the] subject of a video is to see with the images of others, to whom they don’t belong either”.
American artist Rachel Rose (b.1986, United States) has a video work on display titled Sitting, Feeding, Sleeping, 2013. Sitting, Feeding, Sleeping takes us on a very particular journey through contemporary constructions created around different life forms, from medical breakthroughs in a cryogenics lab to basic scientific facts in a robotics perception lab, to animal care within zoos across the US. In the cryogenics lab, the bodies are pumped with nitrogen, with blood circulating they’re deemed only half-dead. In the robotics lab, machines are designed to register human happiness, and in the zoos, animals live extended lives emptied of sexual, social, and survival cues. The animal, the human, and the machine are all caught in a state between being alive and not being alive. In the installation, a light pink carpet, dyed to match the artists pantone skin color, functions as an ‘island,’ demarcating the space in which the viewer experiences a flattening timeline of footage, thereby implicating them in the contingency of its subjects and the artist herself.
Indian artist Sahej Rahal (b. 1988) has on display photographs that document performances titled Keeper (2015) and Katabasis (2011). Keeper was shot in Shodoshima, Japan, at the foothold of the Yoshida Dam, which holds a man made 'island' behind it. Formed by the ebbing flow of water held by the dam, the isolated island had never been set foot on. Through the course of the performance, the 'Keeper' played by Yuichiro Takarada (a municipal officer from Shodoshima), along with other performers visit or ‘breach’ the otherwise untouched island. Shot inside the old art deco-style Opera House in Mumbai, Katabasis features a burly shamanic being occupying the only working elevator, and physically impeding the movement of other residents, as they attempt to move in and out of the building.
Rahal will also deliver a performance titled Contingent Farewell, Act 2 where a being from an absent civilization leaves behind fragments and residues within our own. Act 1 of this absurd narrative unfolded in San Francisco, as the first part of a ritual of displacement stretching time and space to bind the two exhibition sites (KADIST and KHOJ) together.
American artist Steffani Jemison (b.1981, USA) is showing a video work titled Escaped Lunatic, 2010-2011, in which a steady stream of figures run across the screen, sprinting, jumping, and rolling through the streets of Houston. The work is part of a trilogy that borrows its narrative structure from early-20th-century cinema. The artist employs the chase genre, which has often depicted African Americans in scenes of flight from various forms of authority. Jemison, who shot the video with a Houston-based parkour team while she was living in that city, links this narrative structure to a contemporary scene, boldly connecting the unjust conditions of urban life and representation of the black community across time. As the figures move quickly across the screen, they not only appear as doppelgangers of each other, but together become symbols of fugitivity—figures of escape that historically mark black life.
Indian artist Tejal Shah (b.1979, India) has two video works – titled Between the Waves, Channel II - Landfill Dance, 2012) and Between the Waves, Channel IV – Moon Burning, 2012 - and a mixed media collage of digital prints on archival paper titled Between the Waves Collages – Inner, 2012. For this project, Shah creates sensual, poetic, heterotopic landscapes within which they place subjects that inhabit personal/political metaphors – embodiments of the queer, eco-sexual, inter-special, technological, spiritual and scientific.
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EXHIBITION "Frozen World of The Familiar Stranger", hosted in collaboration with Kadist, San Francisco at KHOJ Studios, S-17, Khirkee Extension > 8th December 2016 to 11th January 2017 Reviewed by Rohit Malik on 16:55 Rating: