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Chemould Prescott Road opens exhibition of works by Sonia Khurana
(Video Still) House Anatomy. 8 channel video. Silent. 04:02 minutes.

MUMBAI.- The exhibition of Delhi-based artist Sonia Khurana, Fold/Unfold, explores the tensions between our impossible need for flight and the existential truths of our groundedness.

While well-known internationally for over a decade, with shows and interventions all over the world, this is Khurana’s first solo in Bombay.

Khurana’s video installations, text-based, and performative works “fold” and “unfold” – as the philosopher Gilles Deleuze might have described it – into multiple permutations of form, subjectivity, and embodied experience. They fold themselves into dialogical, metaphorical “origami” inhabited by the restless spirits of profound questions of the human condition: from alienation and displacement to longing and embodiment, from desire to refusal.

In acts of mimetic doubling and redoubling, twinning and mirroring, inverting and subverting, the works speak to one another in many visual languages, across many axes of connection and divergence, about the vicissitudes of the body and the flux of our inner states.

One of India’s most path-breaking new media and performance artists, from early on in her peripatetic, itinerant practice, Khurana has deftly integrated performance, moving image, sound, and text-based works into shifting and subtle dialogues with architectural and environmental spaces. Many of the works in Fold/Unfold are being premiered in a gallery space for the first time, though some have been shown in situ : her recent solo exhibition “Oneiric House: round about midnight” was installed in an ex-residential house while a part of the living-in-the-round project was shown in a shipping container…

The works flow through the space along shifting axes of spatial orientation, moving between the horizontal and vertical axis, as well as the liminal spaces in between.

Sonia Khurana (b) 1968 born in Northern India.

Studied art in London at the Royal College of Art, where she completed her Masters in 1999, and earlier in Delhi, at the Delhi College of art. In 2002, Sonia did a two-year Residency Programme for practice-based research at the Rijksakademie VanBeeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. She is based in New Delhi.

Works primarily with lens- based media, and draws upon diverging practices: photo, video, and the moving image, performance, text, drawing, sound, music, voice, and installation. Her art practice attempts to draw critically on references to cultural and gendered identity, and the psycho-social domain. Working with a discourse of power that is deliberately tangential, she structures the self through states of strangeness, alienation, displacement and embodiment. She strives to engage with constant negotiations between body and language, the self and the world. Through these deliberately poetic intimations, she tries to persistently explore and re-define the space of the political.

Sonia made her debut solo exhibition comprising of moving image works in Delhi, in India, in the year, 2000, after returning from the U.K. The exhibition: “lone women don’t lie’, is seen as a landmark in the India context, being comprised primarily of photo and video works that consider the materiality of moving image.

Her works have been shown in Europe during the exhibition elles@Centre Pompidou (2009/2010), in the United States during the Global Feminisms exhibition in Brooklyn (2007), in some of the biennale in Asia: the Aichi triennale [2010], the Busan biennale[ 2004] and the Gwangju biennale [2008] and in the seminal exhibition west heavens, in Shanghai [2010] among several others [ listed under group shows ].

The themes that she most frequently deals with are those of interiority and of embodiment. Often using her own body in moving image and performance. She thus places experience at the heart of her work, narratives that often emerge from very personal references and allude to the ethics of being.

Her single channel video Bird, produced in 1999 as part of her Masters at the Royal College of Arts in London placed both within the feminist discourse, as well as among the emerging generation of artists working with digital media. She speaks of her body as a “site of transmission, transformation and translation of phenomenological interactions, exploring the tension between different forces: social and cultural, lofty and libidinal.”

The artist lives and works in Delhi, India.

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