Exhibition: Catalyst / The Arc of Time

Online Program

Date: Jun 18, 2020
Time: 05:00 pm - 06:00 pm IST
Venue: Zoom


Exhibition: Catalyst / The Arc of Time

Join us for part two of the three-part series of discussions and virtual guided tours of the exhibition ?Catalyst? curated by Rahaab Allana, exhibited at the JIMEI x ARLES 2019 International Photo Festival, China. This series is in partnership with the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts. 


Exhibiting artists : Arun Vijai Mathavan, Photographer, PEP Collective | Lukas Birk, Visual Artist 

Curator: Rahaab Allana, Curator / Publisher, Alkazi Foundation for the Arts

Guest speaker: Rishi Singhal, Discipline Lead, Photography Design, NID

Moderator: Bhooma Padmanabhan, Co-curator, CPB Edition III 

The panel titled ?The Arc of Time? brings together two artists - Arun Vijai Mathavan and Lukas Birk - who were part of Catalyst, in conversation with the exhibition?s curator Rahaab Allana and guest speaker Rishi Singhal. Mathavan will speak about his work on the Adhi Moolaperumal Archive which he researched for his NID dissertation. Lukas Birk will share his artistic practice focusing on archiving photographic histories, and particularly discussing the collaborative project/publication ?Photo Peshawar?. Rishi Singhal will provide insights into the archiving initiatives at NID and the Photography Design Archives of student dissertations on the history of vernacular photography in India. Finally, Rahaab Allana will speak of the curatorial and archival impulses that went into the making of the ?Catalyst? exhibition and larger questions around the archive that drives his curatorial practice. The panel will be  moderated by Bhooma Padmanabhan. 

To join the webinar:

About NID Archives

NID Archives is a treasure trove to study the history of Modern Design in India and the subcontinent. Being a herald of the Modern design in India, NID offers numerous examples of its empathetic and contextual approach to design with the products, prototypes, architecture, services, exhibitions, reports, documents, articles, and personal accounts of those involved that articulate this continued effort since 1961. 

The students of Photography Design at NID have been tracing the history of Indian photography as part of their course work since 2008. Through their dissertations, they have been looking at family archives, studios, libraries, museums and private collections of photography throughout India. Since 2014 their research and final outcomes are being archived as a part of the department's collection.

Arun Vijai Mathavan - Dissertation brief

Adhi Moolaperumal, a local town teacher by profession was not much known for his photography. Recognized for all his other talents, his photography went unnoticed while he lived. This book explores the avatar that lived and grew behind the lens. Perumal?s unique approach towards his work is evident in his photographs such as ?expressions?. His work on ?Kavimani? became a lifetime project, ending on his funeral pyre. This is my tribute to Adhi Moolaperumal, the photographer. 

Bios of the panellists

Arun Vijai Mathavan, Photographer, PEP Collective | IND - @arunvijaimathavan

Arun Vijai Mathavan is an engineer turned social documentary photographer. He has completed his Masters in Photography Design from the National Institute of Design, Gandhinagar, India. He is working on environmental issues and social documentary. Arun is particularly interested in exploring issues of spaces with its relation to the environment and urbanization. Presently he is an independent photographer based in Chennai, working on long term projects.

Lukas Birk, Artist | AUT -  @lukas.birk

Lukas Birk is an artist. A storyteller. A conservator. His multi-disciplinary projects have been turned into films, chronicles and books. A large part of Lukas? work deals with archival material he collects while traveling or while delving into his own background. These archives are not ambiguous nor are they found images. Lukas researches his imagery through investigations and explorations very often in areas that have been affected by conflict and have not yet had the chance to present existing material in an artistic form. His narratives tackle recorded history by creating alternate storylines and fictional elements, alongside commonly accepted facts. Currently, Lukas is exploring his growing interest in preservation by means of curated artistic presentation with the Myanmar Photo Archive ? an endeavor to re-interpret and tell the story of Myanmar through collected photographs taken over the last 6 decades. The collection now holds 20,000 images.  / 

Rahaab Allana, Curator/Publisher Alkazi Foundation for the Arts | IND - @rahaaballana

Rahaab Allana is Curator/Publisher of the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts (New Delhi); Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society (London) and Honorary Research Associate at the University College (London). He has curated various lens-based exhibitions, working with institutions and festivals internationally. He is the author of Inherited Spaces, Inhabited Places (2010); and has served as Guest Editor for Marg and the Lalit Kala Akademi Journals on photography specific issues in the past. He is also the Founding/Managing Editor of PIX, a theme-based photography initiative and exhibitionary platform in its tenth year; and is Guest Editor for a forthcoming issue with Aperture Magazine. 

Rishi Singhal, Discipline Lead, Photography Design, NID | IND - @lategrammer

Rishi Singhal is a photographer and an academician based in Gandhinagar, India. He has received his education from the Centre for Environmental Planning & Technology (Ahmedabad), Visual Studies Workshop (Rochester), and the College of Visual & Performing Arts at Syracuse University. Currently he is leading the masters programme in Photography Design at the National Institute of Design, India. 

Bhooma Padmanabhan, Co-curator CPB Edition III | IND - @bhooma.p

Bhooma Padmanabhan is a Chennai-based curator, researcher and art program manager. She is currently the co-curator of the Chennai Photo Biennale, Edition 3. Previously she has worked with the Students? Biennale ?Expanded Education Program?, Kochi Muziris Biennale (2018-19), and the Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA) and Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (2007-2017). She has curated several exhibitions with emerging and mid-career artists from India, and through these platforms has been imagining the curatorial space as platforms for learning, resource sharing, and collaboration. Bhooma has a degree in Fine Arts from Stella Maris College, Chennai, and a masters in Art History from MS University of Baroda. 

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