Khoj Studios presents a unique show of art installations exp

Khoj Studios presents a unique show of art installations exp

Postby Surabhi Trivedi » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:48 am

New Delhi: Khoj International Artists’ Association presents In, Food Edition – I, a show that explores the notion of food, incorporating performance, art installations and interactive events, at Khoj Studios, S-17, Khirkee Extension, New Delhi from April 13, 2012 till April 22, 2012, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Five artists and artists collectives from around the world who have worked during a month long residency at Khoj Studios – Andrea Caretto and Raffaella Spagna (Italy); Julian Abraham (Indonesia); Alfonso Borragan (UK); Ruchika Negi and Amit Mahanti of Frameworks Collective (Delhi, India) and Shweta Bhattad (Nagpur, India) – have explored the broader ecological thematic preferably in public spaces around Delhi with a special focus on the notion of food: food as artistic medium incorporating performance, art installations or interactive events that re-examine the significance and relevance of food in the social context, simply in its connection with the body or as a primary ritual that fosters engagement, interaction and collaboration.
Artists Profiles and Their work concepts:
Born in 1984 in Nagpur, Shweta Bhattad did her Bachelor’s in sculpture from her hometown and her masters in Sculpture from M.S.U Baroda. She was awarded with gold medal and merit scholarship for her works in the field, in year 2011 from M.S.U. Known for her amazing fake foodstuff made from wax that appears both stunning and humorous, Shweta has worked across disciplines with very different approaches. This includes her work around significant issues that came forth during her years of working with women who were victims of sexual abuse. Some of these works were recently exhibited in a group show, “And the Falchion Passed through His Neck” at Gallery Latitude 28, curated by Jasmine Wahi, a New York based curator.
Shweta has participated in many group shows at Lalit Kala National Exhibition, Bombay Art Society, Bombay Art Fair, and M.S.U. Baroda to name a few and has also held a solo show “Wax Magic” at the SCZCC (South Central Zone Cultural Centre), Nagpur in year 2005.
She lives and works from her recently made studio in her hometown Nagpur, India.
About her work
Stemming from grim environmental realities of global warming and climatic changes this work explores issues surrounding ‘food’ – its production, excess and apparent scarcity particularly in light of (Indian) government policies and mismanagement of our agro resources over the past few decades. The work addresses issues surrounding inaccessibility and dearth of food for many living on the streets in contrast to grand celebrations, festivities, large-scale catering establishments with its abundance and excess of food and its subsequent wastage. This excess and wastage of food is referred to here as ‘vomit’, seen in light of its broader context of induced starvation – with the producers of food – farmers - driven to suicides and the marginalized and a vast section of the population compelled to rummage around for food.
The project attempts to experientially bring in and reflect upon these disparate experiences through sculptural installation, video and performance also incorporating the making and use of fake but very real-looking 'wax' food.
Alfonso Borragán, obtained his Bachelor's Fine Arts Degree in Barcelona where he started to work with light and photography. He currently lives and works in London where he is studying a MFA in Slade School of Fine Arts, London.
Tired of how significant technology has become for humans and above all in photographic cameras, he has started to build his own artifacts to hunt light and fix it in pictures, playing constantly with the magic and the human body. The idea of exploring the unknown, self-sufficiency, survival and time are the factors most significant in his work. He usually relates his work to the same space they are in, using the physical and cultural materials that are already present. Over last few years, he has focused his research on rituals in the urban city as a medium to communicate his work. The collective celebration becomes a means to opening out to experiences through the artwork being displayed in the process.
Alfonso has developed and shared works in Barcelona, Madrid, Toledo, Granada, Canary Islands, Lisbon, Bristol, London, Dessau, Goldegg and Basel. His work was shown recently at Bienal de Arte Efímero de Granada (black ceramics), Bolit centre d'Art Contemporani (landscapes), Gerra (Cantabria), Leighwoods (Bristol) and Slade (London).
About his work – Alfonso Borragan
Over the past few years, a substantial part of my work has grown to be reminiscent of communal celebrations and rituals that instill the wish and will to share. ‘Food’ has emerged in my work as a strategy, an invisible artefact allowing direct participation of the viewer into the work. People congregate around a table, building immediacy and communication and linking the notion of ancient rituals with present-day habits of a modern society. In other words, food stimulates the senses by generating an extrasensory experience that allows the spectator the exploration of new worlds. The banquets and ceremonies are a universal representation of daily life customs where the viewer opens out to an experience. This is the reason for situating my work within this format wherein the action manages to generate a dynamic and active reading and rendering of the artwork. The idea of a ceremonial ritual not only lends itself to being part of the work but also to the very act of eating and consuming the same.
For the show at Khoj, I propose to create similar food interfaces - ‘Fosfofagias’ - in markets and public spaces through exploring the concept of selling ‘fluorescent’ food in the streets of Delhi. The ‘Fosfofagias’ are ceremonies in an intriguing, dark space with fluorescent drink and food; a collective celebration where senses become affected by the absence of habitual light, maximizing taste, touch and smell. Furthermore, the participant is invited to eat the artistic piece and the ingested light will be ejected from the body causing fluorescence in the organic waste: faeces, urine, sweat, saliva or tears.
For me, the project serves as an artefact or as a means to discover the place and engage with its people, while trying to stir up some of the latent inertia of the space through rousing creativity and magic.
Muhammad Hidayat a.k.a Julian “Togar” Abraham is a media artist, musician, programmer, scientist-wannabe and social researcher. Words like manipulating, decomposing, degenerating and dematerializing are often used to identify his work. Connecting one thing to another, expressed in complex algorithm, offered him the experience of how art, environment, science and technology relate to one another – providing new tools to educate and engage both him and the society into a wiser, richer and more independent living, being in a world of creation and annihilation. From 2006 till 2011, he was deeply involved with HONF, The House of Natural Fiber, a media artist collective based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He produced and organized numerous events such as Festivals, Workshops, Exhibitions, Performances, and Concerts. One project that he initiated, won the last edition of transmediale award, Berlin, Germany.
About his work Julian Abraham
Through a series of workshops and an installation, Fermentation Madness aims to educate people on how to make safe and cheap fermented alcohol beverages, while democratizing the laboratory and liberating knowledge for a wider society.
During a similar previous project, I incorporated a sound installation that drew attention to the complexity of the distillation process, permitting the audience to listen to the sound of fermentation, as yeast transformed sugar into ethanol and CO2. The sounds generated depend on a multitude of variables within the production process, including temperature, sugar levels, the types of fruit being used, the quantity of yeast, light intensity and the size of the containers used.
At Khoj, I hope to further my work with fermentation processes, situating it in its local context and engaging local communities working towards an installation piece.
Frame Works is an independent collective based in New Delhi, interested in development, culture and social processes. Through their work, they try to explore the interstices between research, media and art practice. Some of their works include Zariyein I-III, in collaboration with community groups in Delhi, Meghalaya and Uttarakhand; Restless, a text/image book around dams in Sikkim; Disconnect, a text/ image installation; What is Your Name?, a video work that was developed with a children’s group in Khirki, New Delhi, as part of the Khoj-Urban Typhoon workshop; and Audio Exchange, a community media exchange project in Meghalaya. Their documentary films include No One Has Come Alone, ML-05,B 6055 and Malegaon Times.
Frame Works comprises of Ruchika Negi, a social science researcher and Amit Mahanti, a documentary filmmaker.
About their work
As food travels it may take on its own dynamics –social, cultural, political. We are fascinated with the larger idea of movement – of food in a certain way, hybridization as a kind of movement and food taking on different meanings (cultural movements).
Through exploring the idea and the politics of the biscuit, transformations, and the nature of multi-disciplinary art, the project attempts to unravel the politics of malnutrition and its proposed treatments, including a fortified biscuit manufactured in India. It broadly is about politics, malnutrition, currency and other such things.
The resulting work may be in the form of a video-work that simulates an advertising campaign similar to that of the fortified biscuits that propose to address malnutrition.
Andrea Caretto (Turin, Italy) has a degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Turin, Italy and has been engaged with making sculptures since 1990. Raffaella Spagna (Rivoli, Italy) received her degree from the Faculty of Architecture of the Politecnico of Turin and initiated her art activities through paintings.
She has been a part of a contemporary dance company in Turin through the '90s and has worked in Town and Country Planning Department of Polytechnic of Turin from 2002 to 2004.
Caretto and Spagna have been working together on a regular basis since 2002, exhibiting in public and private institutions in Italy and abroad and have collaborated with the research Center IRIS (Interdisciplinary Research Institute on Sustainability) of the University of Turin and Brescia for many of their works. They are amongst the charter members of the artists' association “Diogene” ( ) which promotes, among others activities, the Artist Residency Project “Diogene_urbanbivouac”.
About their work
UNTITLED by Andrea Caretto and Raffaella Spagna

During the last years, the debate around food in Europe often seems to be very far from the core of the question, becoming something more related with enogastronomic (‘food and wine’) products marketing.
We would like to go back and examine the origin of the issue, an inquiry into the web of relations that exist among the different elements of the food chain: soil, human beings and other vegetal and animal organisms.
Our work at Khoj will be the result of an aesthetic exploration of the food cycle from its origin (the soil) to its consumption, let’s say, in the street of Khirki Village (where Khoj is based). It will be an effort to follow the flux of biomass entering the city and offer a vision (view) of this extremely complex system in which we operate.
Currently, we are focused on experiencing different aspects of agricultural production, sale and consumption while trying to often change the scale and lens of our observations: industrial and organic farming, the largest wholesale market for vegetables and fruits in Asia, open-air markets, stalls and vendor-carts selling on the streets. We are trying to trace several histories that accompany the Delhi orchards to the present urban vegetable gardens while also exploring the way people use urban and semi-urban space in relation to food production.
We hope that this ‘field research’ will result in a two-fold artistic intervention: an engaging action or activity in the urban space and an installation at the Khoj studio.
Surabhi Trivedi
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