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Gallery Espace Announces the Grand Finale of its Path-breaking Art Presentation, Video
Gigi Scaria, Panic City, 3 min, Single Channel 2006.

NEW DELHI.- As a historical and path-breaking presentation of video art, Gallery Espace announces the grand finale of its one-year-long Video Wednesday programme with video art from more than 60 artists at Gallery Espace.

Says Renu Modi, Director, Gallery Espace: “Video art has become a very important and popular medium not only in global but also in the Indian scenario. It was for the first time in the history of Indian contemporary art that a private gallery took the initiative to showcase video art regularly for a year within a serious but informal structure. Just as Espace’s previous shows on contemporary drawings, sculptures and pop-art created a brand new market, this initiative is bound to foster a similar excitement amongst connoisseurs of experimental art.”

Curated by art critic and curator, JohnyML, Video Wednesday started in July 2008 as part of the “Reach Out” programme of Gallery Espace. The idea was to encourage local audiences for contemporary video art produced by Indian artists living in India and abroad.

According to Renu Modi: “This project is getting international recognition as well and has been invited to many other venues in India and abroad. To take the project to a wider international audience, we will be screening select works from the gallery’s huge bank of video art as the opening videos at the Video Lounge of India Art Summit in August, 2009. In addition, a first-time book on video art which will encapsulate and document the one-year-long project and studies on contemporary video art is also on its way.”

Coming back to the forthcoming grand finale, Renu Modi adds that as a unique initiative to expand the scope of the Video Wednesday project, five guest curators namely Nancy Adajania, Bose Krishnamachari, Arshiya Lokhandwala, Suresh Jayaram and Gayatri Sinha have been invited to curate special sections with their choice of artists and video works. In another path-breaking initiative, the gallery would also be publishing an all-colour 20-page tabloid on Video Wednesday.

Says guest curator Bose Krishnamachari who has chosen to represent the works of Amar Kanwar, Anup Mathew Thomas, Chittrovanu Mazumdar, Kabir Mohanty and Sudarshan Shetty: “The entire project is quite a daring one as videos were generally seen as part of group shows or solos. I appreciate that the finale literally opens up further discourses on video art by throwing open it for guest curators to make interventions.”

On the other hand guest curator and cultural theorist Nancy Adajania selects Mriganka Madhukaillya, Navjot Altaf, Ranbir Kaleka and Shilpa Gupta for this project. She adds: “Gallery Espace has always been in the forefront to showcase experimental art. Video Wednesday is Espace’s another path-breaking effort.”

The artists selected by guest curator Gayatri Sinha are Gigi Scaria, Manjunath Kamath, N Pushpamala and Surekha, those selected by guest curator Suresh Jayaram are Ambuja Mahaji, Bharatesh D Yadav, Jehangir Jani, Surekha, Siridevi Khandavilli and Umesh Maddanahalli and finally, artists selected by curator Arshiya Lokhandwala are Aaditi Joshi, Baptist Coelho, Sharmila Samant and Sonia Khurana.

The grand finale not only showcases the videos of the selected artists by these five guest curators but also the videos that have been already shown in Video Wednesdays so far.

In addition, to give a chance to younger artists who are not part of the curated sections, a special monitor-based projection space called Video Adda has been devised for exhibiting offbeat videos. Featuring one-minute videos by ten young artists who were part of a video workshop conducted by Mumbai’s Sharmila Samant and experimental videos by Satya Sai and Somu Desai, Video Adda will remain a permanent feature at Gallery Espace.

What’s more, an Open Forum titled ‘Video Art Now and Next’, is scheduled for August 1, 2009 as part of the finale festivities that will be moderated by art critic and curator Johny ML. The panel, consisting of art collector Swapan Seth and video artist Kabir Mohanty among others, will discuss the nuances of Indian contemporary video art practices from various perspectives.

Says JohnyML, Project Curator of Video Wednesday: “Video has been one of the most domesticated visual mediums since the advent of VHS tapes, players and recorders in Indian market during mid 1980s. However, video art took a lot of time to catch the imagination of the artists and the public. Once transported to the context of art, video became something alien. I was interested in this fact of the alienating factor, despite its familiarity otherwise, and the project was conceived and executed for creating a new audience group for video art in India. I am sure that this project has created a history in the critical discourse on Indian contemporary video art. ”

While the grand celebration showcases the videos of the twenty-three selected artists by guest curators, Johny ML, the project curator adds five more artists to the list namely Babu Eshwar Prasad, Ebenezer Singh, Kiran Caur Brar, K M Madhusudhanan and Nikhil Chopra. The works are based on the title 'War in the East, War in the West' which will add a final touch to the four-day celebration.

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