Video art comes to Delhi

July 29th, 2008 - 1:02 pm ICT by IANS  


New Delhi, July 29 (IANS) After learning to appreciate works of modern and contemporary masters like Raja Ravi Varma, M.F. Husain and Subodh Gupta, the capital is now opening up to new artistic formats. A Delhi-based art gallery has announced a unique reach-out scheme titled “Video Wednesday” as part of its mass awareness programme to acquaint common people with cutting-edge new media art. A part of the reach-out programme will be shown July 30 at Gallery Espace.

Conceived by art critic and curator Johny M.L., “Video Wednesdays” will feature four leading contemporary Indian video artists on the last Wednesday of every month.

The first “Video Wednesday” episode will acquaint art lovers to video art by Tushar Jog, Ranbir Kaleka, Vishal Dar and Gigi Scaria.

Video art relies on moving pictures and video or audio data. Artists feel it should not be confused with television or experimental cinema.

Video art started in the 1960s and took off in the 1970s. It is widely practised across the world.

Video art is of two varieties - single channel and installation. Single channel works resemble conventional television. A video is screened, projected or shown as a single image.

Installations involve either an ambience, several video clips presented separately or a combination of traditional sculpture and video footages. Installation is the common form of video art.

“There are several galleries in India that showcase video art as a part of general shows. But I wanted a single gallery to devote a day to video art every month. It is the only way to break the ice between people and the new media art,” said “Video Wednesday” curator Johny M.L.

According to the curator, India is still sceptical about video art.

Said Renu Modi, director of Gallery Espace: “Video art is comparatively new in our scene and it is our mission to take it to the people. The international art market is looking to India for new and cutting-edge art and many contemporary Indian artists have been dabbling in new media art for the last few years.

“However, apart from exhibitions, no concerted effort has been made by any gallery to showcase exclusive video projects.”

The artists, who feature in the instalments of the “Video Wednesday”, are slightly different from conventional artist. Tushar Jog’s works are an inquiry into the artistic formation of the “artistic self” in a politically charged society.

Delhi-based Ranbir Kaleka, a new media artist, started off his career as a painter and then moved to conceptual compositions in which the videos play a pivotal role.

Vishal Dar is a designer and an artist, who has trained in video art in US.

Gigi Scaria, a young Delhi-based artist, who has gained international acclamation for his video works, deal with social and cultural interactions of people in a changing society.

He weaves personal history with the general history of the nation using ordinary people and historical figures as protagonists.

His 49-minute single channel video sound clip, “Raise your hands those who have touched him”, attempts to trace the impact of assassination of Mahatma Gandhi witnessed by the city of Delhi in an artistic frame.

The second “Video Wednesday” featuring Rohini Daveshwar, Sharmila Samanth, Koumudi Patil and Hemali Bhuta will be on Aug 27.

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