Structures Within An Intervention

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Redo Pakistan Newspaper, 2009 - Ongoing © Redo Pakistan
Lehmans Balance, 2010 Video Projection © Fawad Khan
Darr, Switzerland, NY, 2010 Photography 24" X 40" © Michael Buhler Rose
Structures Within An Intervention
Curated by: Meenakshi Thirukode

45 W. 21st Street
New York, NY 10010
May 18th, 2010 - June 18th, 2010
Opening: May 18th, 2010 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

photography, mixed-media, digital, installation, video-art, performance, conceptual, pop, surrealism, figurative, sculpture

Structures Within An Intervention:
Press Release -

The Guild Art Gallery presents Structures within an Intervention a curatorial project by Meenakshi Thirukode that includes artists Rajkamal Kahlon, Swati Khurana, Vandana Jain, Michael Buhler Rose, Afruz Amighi, Mariam Ghani, Fawad Khan, Redo Pakistan (Fatima Hussain and Hamja Ahsan), Divya Mehra, Aninditta Dutta and Nidhi Jalan. The project seeks to challenge preconceived structures, both, within the immediate purview of what constitutes a 'gallery exhibition', to broader issues of place and cultural identity within the contemporary art world. This is being orchestrated by collaborating with individuals and collectives who have created their own branded identity in an effort to create frameworks that range from curatorial endeavors to publications, performances and discussions. These individuals, who operate under an "institutional alias" include Town Hall Meeting (Christopher Stiegler and Dina Shaulov), Ad Hoc Vox (Colleen Asper and Jennifer Dudley), Shifter (Sreshta Rit Premnath), Greshams Ghost (Ajay Kurian) and Parlour (Leslie Rosa Stumpf and Ciara Gilmartin). Each of them have been asked to interpret, re-contextualize or react to the contexts the curator has created. These have been labeled Interventions. During the duration of the show Interventions will take place at a predetermined date. The extent to which the nature of these interventions will be publicized is dependent on the amount of information each Intervenor is willing to disclose. Rest assured, however, that they will take place at the said dates and timings listed below.


(i) Time Period:
May 18th - June 18th 2010
Opening Reception May 18th 6:30 – 8:30 pm

(ii) Artists:
Rajkamal Kahlon, Swati Khurana, Vandana Jain, Michael Buhler Rose, Afruz Amighi, Mariam Ghani, Fawad Khan, Redo Pakistan (Fatima Hussain and Hamja Ahsan), Divya Mehra, Aninditta Dutta and Nidhi Jalan

(iii) Curator:
Meenakshi Thirukode

(iv) Institution:
The Guild Art Gallery, New York
45 W 21st Street, 2nd Floor
Buzzer #39, New York, New York 10010

(v) Interventions:
Town Hall Meeting
Ad Hoc Vox
Greshams Ghost

May 18th: Opening Night: Intervention 1: Town Hall Meeting (Curatorial Collaborators): 6:30 - 8:30 pm.

An investigatory survey where Town Hall Meeting (Dina Shaulov and Christopher Stiegler) will have a set of questions to ask guests, artists and other art professionals that are out and about that evening.  THM will be referencing the writings of Jacques Ranciere, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Edward Said, Vinyak Chaturvedi, and others, all with the aim of linking their ideologies with the activities of artists functioning in todays art world. This Intervention will take place in an area that statistics have shown, is the most frequented during an opening despite its seeming air of distance at other hours from the visitor – The Reception Desk.

May 20th: Intervention 2: Ad Hoc Vox (Collaborators): 6 - 8 pm, 7 pm Reading.

Ad Hoc Vox's Colleen Asper and Jennifer Dudley will translate an excerpt from a Western literary classic, William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying.  Rather than translating this text into another language, Asper and Dudley will transform it from within the tradition of the English language.  Dudley will translate the modern text into Old English and Asper will translate the text using a model taken from Saint Augustine's description of how God might apprehend language.

Intervention reception starts 6 pm. Colleen Asper and Jennifer Dudley will do a reading starting 7 pm.

Performance: Swati Khurana and her Grandmother will perform "Lesson 1" where they will knit an embroidery piece together. The performance will start a few hours prior to the reception and continue into the evening.

May 25th: Intervention 3:  Shifter (Individual): 12 - 8:30 pm

Shifter (Sreshta Rit Premnath) proposes the following Intervention

Between Dog and Wolf:
The intervention (or interruption) will take place for periods of about an hour, interspersed throughout the duration of the show at the discretion of the curator.

Using darkness and a one hour lecture by Trin T Minh-ha as primary source material,  Shifter directs us towards questions regarding the migrant-self, boundaries and multiplicity in order to imagine, as Minh-ha puts it, "an image and a color whose depiction would require a different kind of hearing, a different kind of listening."

This intervention invokes the time of twilight, described in French as "entre chien et le loup."  This time of murky visuality when people disappear and ghosts awake, is also a time of transformation, a time of becoming. As individuals who confront and engage the problems of identification, how do we proceed with clarity, yet maintaining criticality in regard to how we identify ourselves. Indeed, (how) can the tropes of otherness be strategically employed to untangle the knots that shape it?

June 1st - 3rd: Intervention 4: Greshams Ghost (Individual)

Greshams Ghost (Ajay Kurian) has not disclosed details of the Intervention. The curator waits and continues to follow up on occasion.

June 15th -18th: Intervention 5: Parlour (Curatorial Collaborators): Reception June 15th 6:30 - 8:30 pm

Parlour (Leslie Rosa-Stumpf and Ciara Gilmartin) has proposed an Intervention that will re-curate the exhibition in an attempt to bring the participating artists’ practices into a broader contemporary dialogue—not one tied to a definitive cultural milieu.  New artists will be invited to be part of the conversation.

Structures Within An Intervention:
Curatorial Note

What are we without structures? A structure is inescapable. Its’ ubiquitous and certain. Be it thought or action, the more we strain to lose structure the closer we get to finding it.

Structures Within an Intervention is a project that culminates from this realization. In it are players, participants, collaborators and individuals who are all functioning either for or against their perceived notion of a structure. Like any structural system there are parameters within which those involved function. It started with the specific vision that the institution functions under in relation to its place within the larger system. A curatorial intervention within this structure was to engage the institutions vision in such a way that it reinforces what has already been discussed and debated upon by theorists and philosophers, critics and historians, you and me. Or it could possibly lead to something more radical, if radicality exists. I'm inclined to believe it doesn't but I will humor myself.

Here is what finds me as I plan my escape. Here is a structure, a blueprint.

Structure 1: The Personal: Blueprint A

A shared relationship as employee, colleague and friend exists between the institution and the curator. A common place that is relegated as the work place has seen many interactions within the realms of the professional and the personal. This place, The Institution, is commonly called the Gallery.

The curator shares multiple relationships with a number of individuals who are commonly called a broad range of descriptive terms such as artist, curator and collective. While engaging predominantly from a professional perspective, that is curating them or writing about them, there are varying levels of a personal relationship she shares with them such as going out for coffee, gossiping or a mutual need to follow each others Facebook updates.

Structure 2: The Project: Blueprint B

The project culminated from the myriad layers within Structure 1. The curator has decided to approach every one of those artists, curators and collectives to be involved within the parameters of a structure called 'gallery exhibition' and create further structures without acknowledging that they could be structures. One of the most dominant parameters that have come about in the project is the idea of place and identity.

Structure 3: The Interventions: Blueprint C

A sub system within Structure 2. A deliberate insertion that saw the displacement, either by choice or without, of everyone involved. Some were relegated as artists while others as Intervenors, individuals who in essence operate under an institutional insignia, have been given the elevated task of creating or recreating contexts. Some chose to remain as artists, some crossed the border to become an Intervenor, some didn't have the time to be involved but goodnaturedly gives us their support and validation.