Deepika Sorabjee

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Haunting Analogue Photographs of Ship Graveyards Speak to the Afterlife of Technology   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Shumon Ahmed at Project 88 September 30th, 2015 - November 7th, 2015
Posted 10/6/15
How do objects "end" their "lives"? Where do they go to die? How does an object have this presence beyond the monumental, a soul that is passing through time and place? Can both history and the ahistorical be dialectics in the same image? What is the afterlife of a technological process? Shumon Ahmed's , a show of photographic prints at Project 88, captures in its title a multitude of interpretations. These are images that speak for themselves over and over again. The “when” is when ships... [more]
High Seas and Ether Highways: The Collective Works of CAMP Come to Light Across India   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
at Chemould Prescott Road March 9th, 2015 - April 30th, 2015
Posted 3/17/15
Chemould Prescott Road’s presentation of CAMP’s , surrounds the viewer in an animated darkness framed by reflections of the outside world. These words—“outside,” “animated darkness,” “surround”—could sum up what CAMP (Critical Art & Media Practice), a Mumbai-based studio for transdisciplinary media practices, is setting out to do. Over the years, CAMP principals Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran have engaged with media in both the artistic, material sense and through the conceptual mediation... [more]
Seven Years On, India Art Fair Is Poised to Be Stronger Than Ever   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
at India Art Fair January 29th, 2015 - February 1st, 2015
Posted 1/27/15
Sandwiched between Art Stage Singapore and Art Dubai, the India Art Fair, now in its seventh edition, is relatively established in the region’s fair circuit, one that has seen the takeover of the former Hong Kong Art Fair by the Big One: Art Basel. Art Basel | Hong Kong shows the growing interest the world has in the region’s art, and also acts as a bridge connecting Asia with Australia. Positioned as India is between the Middle East and Far East, it has reliably showcased South Asia’s art... [more]
The Kochi-Muziris Biennale Take Two: Why We Need to Improve Arts Funding in India   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
at Kochi-Muziris Biennale December 12th, 2014 - March 29th, 2015
Posted 12/11/14
The story of the first Kochi Muziris Biennale could quite well have been a Bollywood film plot, so melodramatic was its December 2012 inauguration (12/12/12). It battled fund crunching fires, technical spills, and bad press before emerging as a hero, hailed as a new format of biennale making. The biennale was established by two artists, Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu, who, in the decades contemporary art came into its own in India, went where no one had been before. Like the quintessential... [more]
Circling Time   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Ashish Avikunthak at Chatterjee & Lal Gallery June 27th, 2014 - August 2nd, 2014
Posted 7/6/14
In , filmmaker Ashish Avikunthak presents several conceits. A single take of 102 minutes in a 105-minute film, screened as a very large projection at Chatterjee & Lal, has Rati, the Goddess of Love in Hindu mythology explored as the notion of desire through the ages, and Chakravyuh (a military formation mentioned in the Hindu epic Mahabharata that consists of a labyrinth of concentric circles) used as a defense mechanism. It’s a gauntlet that Avikunthak throws down from the start—a tight... [more]
What Rises From the Ruins   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Meera Devidayal at Chemould Prescott Road April 28th, 2014 - July 9th, 2014
Posted 5/8/14
“ … cruel WorksOf many wheels I view,Wheel without wheel,with cogs tyrannic.Moving by compulsion each other:not as those in Eden:which wheel within wheel in freedomrevolve in harmony and peace.”   These words by William Blake accompany Meera Devidayal’s installation  in her solo exhibition A Terrible Beauty at Chemould Prescott Road. One reads them with the accompanying headphones on and a song plays, the kind sung by black Southern plantation workers, slaves in the cotton fields of a bygone... [more]
Pablo Bartholomew: Time Regained   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Pablo Bartholomew at Sakshi Gallery (Mumbai) April 5th, 2014 - May 2nd, 2014
Posted 4/18/14
Pablo Bartholomew’s  at Sakshi Gallery takes you back in time: literally, through photographs taken in the city in the ‘70s, and artistically, from a time when photojournalism was a hallmark of magazines like LIFE and National Geographic. Its transition today into the gallery space elicits two stories, one of a lost Calcutta—its very name has changed—and one of the place for contemporary photojournalistic photography itself. In an age of pre-digital dissemination, photojournalists, the great... [more]
Storyboarding the Mind: A Truly Trippy Immersion   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Nandita Kumar at Lakeeren Art Gallery March 14th, 2014 - June 30th, 2014
Posted 3/14/14
It would seem Nandita Kumar believes in immersive environments. Perhaps her migratory existence – travelling between Mauritius, India, the U.S.A., New Zealand – has something to do with this; certainly she creates a world of her own in her artworks, locating them in the strongly individual, a flighty virtual space or an earthy community commons. Her previous work may appear diverse in expression. Spearheading a women’s project in Dharavi (a well known slum in Mumbai, made famous by film-maker... [more]
NAGAS: The Diorama as Identity, Ideology   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
at Mumbai Art Room December 17th, 2013 - January 31st, 2014
Posted 1/17/14
There’s a glut on in the city of talks and exhibitions on the Parsis, one of the most fascinating slices of India’s multi-ingredient cultural cake. At the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), is a dual exhibition: On the top level is the modern and contemporary ‘No Parsi is an Island’ curated by cultural theorists Nancy Adajania and Ranjit Hoskote; the majority of the space, however, is taken up by an exhibition which is more historical and ethnographical, which makes some viewers wonder... [more]
Transcendental Evocations: An Interview with Arshiya Lokhandwala of Gallery Lakeeren   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Ale de la Puenta, Roberto de la Torre, Máximo González, Lorena Mal, Eric Meyenberg, Armando Miguélez at Lakeeren Art Gallery December 20th, 2013 - January 20th, 2014
Posted 12/20/13
Gallery Lakeeren is a spare, compact space. But over the years one has come to expect to spend a longer time at the gallery than the time it should take to negotiate this small space. Gallerist Arshiya Lokhandwala brings her training in art history into every show she curates, making this one of the handful of galleries where the vision and execution of ideas come cohesively from within. In the current show, ‘, the first show of contemporary Mexican art in the city, six artists – Eric... [more]
Bronz(e)scapes   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Mrinalini Mukherjee at Jhaveri Contemporary October 31st, 2013 - November 30th, 2013
Posted 11/19/13
Walking into Jhaveri Contemporary and encountering Mrinalini Mukherjee’s bronzes in the eponymous show ‘Bronze’, one is disoriented; are we on another planet? Not because of a space reorientation in this small, pristine gallery, but by the exhibits, displayed on utilitarian shelves and plinths. Fantastical, writhing objects gleam – what are they? Treasures unearthed from an ancient civilization? Birthing forms that are caught in motion? Hybrids derived from flora and fauna trapped in a lava... [more]
Spinning Skies.   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Neha Choksi at Project 88 October 3rd, 2013 - November 16th, 2013
Posted 10/24/13
Watching Alfonso Cuaron’s in the same week as Neha Choksi’s twelve-minute video work Iceboat at Project 88 loaded the words ‘gravity’ and ‘freefall’ with imagery that will take a lifetime to erase. Cuaron’s exemplary outer space drama, which sets new standards cinematically, played with the notion of gravity, rather, the lack of it – erasure as the primary gesture is brought home in the last scene. When Sandra Bullock’s Dr Ryan Stone grapples with gravity to take her first steps in a pristine... [more]
Veiled Weavings   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Shadi Ghadirian at Lakeeren Art Gallery September 4th, 2013 - November 9th, 2013
Posted 10/8/13
In Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi’s ‘A Separation’, Tehranian Simin (Leila Hatami), the female protagonist, wants to leave Iran for a country that will provide more opportunities for her daughter. Nader (Peyman Moaadi), her husband, refuses; his ailing father needs to be looked after. The film opens with the couple facing the camera head on, wanting a separation, arguing their case in front of a magistrate. At Gallery Lakeeren, Iranian photographer Shadi Ghadirian, choosing to stay in Iran,... [more]
Camille Henrot: Fantasies, Fascinations, Fears   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Camille Henrot at Jhaveri Contemporary August 13th, 2013 - September 6th, 2013
Posted 8/30/13
French artist Camille Henrot spins fantasies; in her solo show at Jhaveri Contemporary, she’s more the charmer drawing one in than the snakes she films. First, a series of ink drawings don’t just spellbind, but weave a phantasmagoria of curious constructs in curious engagements. Next, in a sharply woven tapestry, with sibilant dexterity, she takes the outsider view of exotic India, of snakes and faith, by its horns, and turns it inside out with a clever compilation of sense and superstition –... [more]
"Flossed" Over.   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Tayeba Begum Lipi, Promotesh Das Pulak, Mahbubur Rahman, Molla Sagar, Anisuzzaman Sohel at The Guild Art Gallery July 31st, 2013 - September 30th, 2013
Posted 8/8/13
“Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” —Toni Morrison, Bangladeshi visual artist Naeem Mohaiemen is well known in the Indian art world, having shown at Kolkatta’s Experimenter and having been exhibited internationally. While comfortable with showing his art in West Bengal, he has expressed his exhaustion with the audiences reminiscing over their abandoned homes in East Bengal, which became East Pakistan in 1947 and Bangladesh in 1971. This... [more]
Pipe Dreams and Drawings   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Avantika Bawa at Gallery Maskara August 9th, 2012 - September 13th, 2012
Posted 7/18/13
In an essay, social-cultural anthropologist Arjun Appadurai described the frenzy of building works in post-war Iraq as 'weapons of mass construction.' This could well describe the current situation in India. Artist Avantika Bawa uses the arsenal of evidence present in construction sites in Mumbai and Delhi, and brings the frenzy into the gallery. In her minimal gestures within the gallery, the frenzy is organised; soaring to Gallery Maskara's warehouse heights or just skimming the poured... [more]
Engaging Minds   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
at Lakeeren Art Gallery July 29th, 2012 - August 29th, 2012
Posted 7/18/13
In 2003, Arshiya Lokhandwala pulled down Gallery Lakeeren's shutters in Juhu, a suburb of Mumbai and in those days an unlikely place for a contemporary art gallery. She headed off to Goldsmith for an M.A. in Curating. She then went further, to Ithaca, NY to obtain her Ph.D in History of Art from Cornell University. Returning to Mumbai six years later, she re-opened her gallery doors, this time in Colaba, amidst a gradually forming art district in South Mumbai. Always innovative, just being a... [more]
Life in Lapsed Time.   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Prajakta Potnis at The Guild Art Gallery September 15th, 2012 - October 27th, 2012
Posted 7/18/13
As I rang the bell at The Guild -- this strange Mumbai procedure for a gallery in landlord-owned rented spaces -- it struck me that it was a Monday. Were they shut? Luckily the door opened and the two-story climb up a tourist-infested Colaba building with an erstwhile dubious reputation is worth it. Prajakta Potnis' world is anything but seedy. I love this profound contrast in senses that Mumbai assaults one with. Compared with any other city, the magnitude of the assault is incomparable and... [more]
In 'GHAR' (Home), Javed Iqbal captures the politics of the land   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Javed Iqbal at Studio-X Mumbai September 13th, 2012 - September 28th, 2012
Posted 7/18/13
Late September saw a week of photography in Mumbai - shows and talks. At the National Centre of Performing Arts, Mumbai photographers Ketaki Sheth and David Desouza, and Magnum photographer Abbas, spoke about their work. Judith Mara Gutman, whose book, , was one of the first that told the story of indigenous Indian photographers, spoke at length, about how pictures were taken, sourced and archived. For photography enthusiasts it was a primer to FOCUS Festival Mumbai that will be held over a... [more]
Infinity starts with a dot.   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Waqas Khan at Lakeeren Art Gallery November 8th, 2012 - December 31st, 2012
Posted 7/18/13
Waqas Khan seems to pick tense political times to show in Mumbai, in 2010 at Gallery Lakeeren, as a court verdict on a contentious demolition of the Babri Masjid (mosque) was to be delivered and this time, as the leader of a Hindu right-wing political party passed away. At both times, Hindu- Muslim communal harmony prevailed. Waqas Khan must bring the Sufi contemplation and meditative ways that inform his practice with him to the city, calming tempers in volatile situations. Trained in the... [more]
The Subbaiah Way   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Kiran Subbaiah at Chatterjee & Lal Gallery December 21st, 2012 - February 9th, 2013
Posted 7/18/13
Kiran Subbaiah has oft in the past featured himself in his videos, as he does in his newest solo show, . Over time (and Narcissicon has taken fourteen years), his various avatars could not be contained - choosing a single channel video as a format, his newest work splits the other Subbaiah's  dreams, fantasies, playful stagings merging into a concatenation of droll events that explore the theme of narcissism, but ironically, the work never really takes itself too seriously. There is no... [more]
At India Art Fair 2013, Mumbai galleries are well represented   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
at India Art Fair February 1st, 2013 - February 3rd, 2013
Posted 7/18/13
12/12/12 saw India's first art biennale open in Kochi. Spectacular artworks in incredible spaces came up amid chaos and uncertainty. Quite unlike the slick efficiency that we associate with the now well established India Art Fair. It's nice to have both, the chaos of creativity in the inception of a biennale, and the efficiency of private enterprise cementing a successful art fair in its fifth edition this year at the NSIC Exhibition grounds from the 1-3 February, with the VIP opening on 31st... [more]
Looking Inward: Indian Abstraction Deconstructed   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Mehlli Gobhai, Ranjit Hoskote at Jehangir Nicholson Art Foundation February 25th, 2013 - September 30th, 2013
Posted 7/18/13
at the Jehangir Nicholson Gallery of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sanghralaya, a show of abstraction in Indian art curated by artist Mehlli Gobhai and cultural theorist Ranjit Hoskote, is rich with indigenous ideas that existed around modernity and abstraction in a post colonial India. Twenty-eight paintings from the Jehangir Nicholson Collection are arranged such that, in a quick glance, one can take in a substantial story. A layered, partitioned display cutting into the rectangular... [more]
A New Audience for Contemporary Art?   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
at Mumbai Gallery Weekend April 5th, 2013 - April 7th, 2013
Posted 7/18/13
Last year, Mumbai Gallery Weekend (hosted by the nine participating galleries, Chatterjee & Lal, Chemould Prescott Road, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Gallery Maskara, The Guild, Lakeeren, Project 88, Sakshi Gallery and Volte Gallery) took art from the art district stronghold of Colaba to the suburbs. Converting a banquet room into a white cube at the Taj Lands End hotel in Bandra, artworks were showcased to a newer audience. Was that audience converted? Did the gamble bring in new... [more]
Episodic Encounters: “We read, we travel, we become”   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Mario Pfeifer at Project 88 April 28th, 2013 - May 28th, 2013
Posted 7/18/13
It is interesting to note that in the title of German artist Mario Pfeifer's film 'A Formal Film in Nine Episodes: Prologue and Epilogue' at Project 88, the place eludes mention. Pfeifer films Mumbai, eschewing the Indo Gothic silhouettes, the sweep of bay, or Marine Drive, that recur in Bollywood films. The margins of urbanization he locates us in could have been in any city in India. Two other artists showing in the city offer a comparative look at Pfeiferâ's responses to location, familiar... [more]