I am a multidisciplinary artist from Bangalore, studied in MS University. Currently practicing in Vadodara, Gujarat. My work has developed in number of ways over the years yet from the very beginning of my art practice, I have workded in Painting, Printmaking, Installation, Video Art and performing art. My intention is to blend these mediums into an interdisciplinary language.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

A Laboratory for Survival

Cole Ndelu & Dimple B. Shah

31 October 2019 - 21 December 2019

Curated By Sunil Shah

About the exhibition

The current social and political conditions have the ability to undermine our resolve and break our spirit. In the gallery, a makeshift laboratory is presented as a site for self-reflection and care. Artists Cole Ndelu and Dimple B. Shah arrive in Wakefield as artistic explorers from afar, they bring with them experimental approaches and metaphysical ideas that may help us. 

Ndelu addresses intimacy and close personal relations through photography. She works with layers of materiality and extends the photographic plane beyond its two dimensions. Her work suggests a re(disc)overy of the self in light of disembodiment brought about by our social and online personas. 

Shah offers techniques and rituals through nature, materials and alchemy. Processes of healing and self-care can be meditated upon through her responses to Wakefield’s surroundings and through processes carried out in The Art House’s printmaking workshop. Her work is finally realised in the lab, and during performances where she takes shamanistic form offering public consultations on self-preservation. 

About the artists

Dimple B. Shah is a a multidisciplinary artist from Bangalore, India, and based in Vadodara, Gujarat. Across her career, Shah has worked in painting, printmaking, installation, video art and performance. With an intention to blend these media into an interdisciplinary language and a developing practice spanning decades, her work has primarily found its focus through humanitarian issues. 

Cole Ndelu is a conceptual portrait and fashion photographer based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her work counters popularised representations of black people and of Africa by creating imagery in which black people are a central focus. Her work is a celebration of blackness and a reflection of the love of the artist for their kin. 

Image: Dimple B. Shah by Cole Ndelu

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Is Dhaka ready for live art?

Is Dhaka ready for live art?

12:00 AM, February 08, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 08, 2019

Sarah Anjum Bari


Dimple B. Shah (India) presents a rendition of Akka Mahadevi's poetry.
If you were anywhere around the Faculty of Fine Arts, DU and the Suhrawardy Udyan from 12 pm and 3 pm last Saturday, February 2, you might have seen a tall woman of Caucasian origin, covered head to toe in fake bright green grass, pushing a rickety-looking lawnmower down the main street. A collapsible measuring scale stretched out from between her legs and unfolded behind her as she made her way through traffic and chaotic sidewalks. The woman, German artist Dagmar I. Glausnitzen-smith, had started out inside the Charukala premises. She had cut out the plastic wrapping of the lawnmower with a scissor attached to her costume and pushed the lawnmower through the parking lot before shooting off into the traffic. The act could be thought of as a metaphor for the way we continue to rely on machines despite the damage done to the environment. Or the fact that there is simply not enough grass left to mow, thereby highlighting the mower as obsolete and the body of grass as no longer a part of nature. 

Yuzuru Maeda (Japan) fuses volunteers into a single moving organism.
 Photo: Mohaiminul Huq Khan

The performance, for lack of a better word, was part of the Dhaka Live Art Biennale (D'LAB) 2019 taking place around the Dhaka University campus from January 21 to February 14 organised by the Back ART Foundation. The non-profit organisation started their journey in 2013 with the goal of bridging native and contemporary culture in Bangladesh—of “bringing [it] back” into present day conversation, hence the name. It's also a reference to the way the group's founders would carry their art equipment in their backpacks in their university days: a reminder of how art can be both personal and inclusive, mobile yet rooted in history. The point was to provide a platform where a local and contemporary art scene can thrive and demonstrate how art can express, inform, and engage with the issues of the world. Back ART organises Native MYTH, an artist residency programme in rural areas, Urban HOURS, a public project that explores the effects of urbanisation through art, and other workshops with students and adults; but their biggest event seems to be the Live Art Biennale, hosting over a hundred local and international artists from 24 countries around the world.

Back ART defines live art as action-based or performative art conducted in front of an audience that seeks to set off discussions. In general terms, it is different from 'looking' at art on canvas or a sculpture, which requires more patience, more scrutiny, and often some knowledge of art history on the part of the viewer. “Do I know enough about the painter, about this school of art?” we find ourselves asking while at an exhibition. Live art, by virtue of being more interactive, pushes us more effectively to think about the concept behind the artwork, if only to wonder why we're participating in such a wild activity. There are also elements of surprise involved for both the artist and the audience. Anything in the environment, from the audience's response to a failed prop to the interruption of a stray dog, can impact the act. As a result, the performance—which is an umbrella term for the artist's preparation, her interaction with the audience, the struggles faced over the activity and finally the act itself—can take any turn. As a means of catalysing thought, such an unpredictable artform can be pretty effective.

Keepa Maskey (Nepal) discusses the influence of Bhoto Jatra in her performance.
 Photo: Md. Rahat Kabir

D'LAB's theme for this year was set to “Performing Tradition and Text”, a second installation of the project since 2017. The three words describe perfectly the intent behind the event. Both texts and traditions, the latter including religious, secular, rural and folk rituals, serve as remnants of native culture in any given place. A text impacts its audience, on the one hand, by influencing their thoughts and beliefs, shaping their myths and their popular culture. But the text or the myth itself also evolves as it travels through time and space, absorbing the history, the culture, the generations of readers that it interacts with along the way. By transforming into a myth or a ritual, a text therefore becomes a part of history. To visit it in its traditional setting—watching a Jatra performance or a shaapshiri khela, for instance, or watching a farmer plow a field—is to merely witness the tradition as an audience or a bystander. But the Live Art Biennale this year sought to 'perform' such rituals through live art, meaning that the present-day realities of the participants travelled with them as they revisited the traditional rituals. The result was a contemporary rendition of native culture—open to interpretation by the audience as much as by the artists—and an exploration of what it means for such rituals to exist in the world today. 

What does it mean to hug the earth when it is covered in dust and the detritus of a dried-up pond? What does it mean to sit together for hours in an open space, free to talk or look around or even leave, and yet be compelled to stare into one's phone? Why do we still need lawnmowers when green is so sparse in the city?

Twenty-eight artists from around the USA, Asia and Europe are performing at the festival this year. While the performances on February 6 included local Bengali attractions like banornaach (monkey dance), shaapkhela (snake charming), puppet-making workshops and other traditional magic tricks, the previous days included displays that incorporated traditions and experiences brought over by foreign artists. At the bottom of the dried-up pond in Charukala, Nepalese artist Keepa Maskey began by cleaning the ground as a show of respect. Then she wrote down her thoughts on scraps of paper—an unplanned decision taken to calm herself down. She started stitching and playing with threads, and tied a piece of Nepalese textile fabric around the gathered circle of onlookers. She took sips of yogurt from a cup made of mud. She rested her head on the ground to feel and honour the soil, and rolled around on the ground and the sprinkled ashes. Finally, she rolled up the scraps of poetry and stashed them into the cup she had drunk from. The poetry was left behind for anyone to read, take home, or even burn or throw away. 

“I was trying to reflect on my culture, what I've been taught and how I was raised, and how that has influenced who I am becoming as a person and an artist,” Keepa explained to me after we climbed back up the pond. “I was trying to address how mythology doesn't really fit well with contemporary life.” She was influenced by the Bhoto Jatra Festival of Nepal, which derives from the myth of a healer farmer awaiting the arrival of a snake king to prove that he had presented him with a diamond-encrusted vest.

“The story affects me negatively when I read it now,” Keepa shared. “It contains such strong themes of class division, whereas today we try so hard to make a collective world. Based on this myth, I was trying to express how suffocated I feel with the fuss of contemporary life. I have also recently experienced an earthquake in Nepal. That kind of tragedy changes your views on life, when you struggle to breathe and access the basic things in life. All of these elements were present in my performance. There was mythology, there was Nepalese culture. How we celebrate festivals, how we pray. I also wanted to engage with the audience, and so tying them with the fabric was my way of creating a bhoto—a vest—for them. I had also wanted to become one with the Bengali soil by rolling around in it, but I found that it was rough and resistant to my rhythm. That was an interesting experience for me.” 

Open Interpretations

Mohaiminul Huq Khan, a musician and artist, who was present among the audience, was struck by how immersed Keepa and some of the artists were into their performances. “They were so into their character that they were surprised when I called the act a 'performance',” he pointed out. Finding parallels between Keepa's act and that of Indian artist Dimple Shah, who performed her interpretation of the 12th century Kannada poetry of Akka Mahadevi, Mohaimin said, “The beauty of it was that they both adopted a ceremonial/ritualistic approach. The utter intensity of the moment led me to believe that I was in in the middle of a serious, almost religious, communication between both sides of death. Keepa's performance felt like an interaction between her own psyche and an external supernatural entity.”

Meanwhile, comparing the opinions of the artists with the audience revealed how subjective interpretation of live art can get. On the fourth floor of a lecture hall in Charukala, Korean artist Johyoung Park stood atop a cloth scribbled with Korean writing, smashing multi-coloured water balloons on her head. She washed herself clean with water from a plastic bottle. She sat down, picked up the coloured water that had collected in a tin bowl beneath her feet, and drank the bowl empty. She then lay on the ground, face first, and wormed her way beneath the scribbled cloth, covering herself with it. She slowly stood back up and walked out of the room, trembling with cold, with the cloth wrapped around her.

D'LAB 2017 materials exhibited at Edge Gallery Dhanmondi. Photo: Md. Rahat Kabir

Toufiqul Huq Emon, a Drama teacher at Scholastica school and one of the audience members, took it as a commentary on the way the world imposes its weight on a person, until she has to drink it down and find the strength to rise back up while embracing it. We spoke to Johyoung about what had influenced her, and discovered a completely unexpected theme behind the performance. “My piece was titled 'Habit',” she explained. “On the cloth I had written 'How many times should one repeat an action?' I was trying to express how we tend to form habits out of repetition and traumatic events, and how that often prevents us from being open to new ideas. That's why I tried to cleanse myself with the water and internalise others' thoughts by drinking them in.” Both Mohaimin and Emon, who had joined us in the conversation, were surprised at each of our different interpretations of the act. “I guess that's art,” shrugged Mohaimin.

An Inclusive Experience

That live art can be fun as well as thought-provoking was revealed by the exercise put together by Yuzuru Maeda of Japan. Random audience members were roped into putting on a green spandex costume that covered them from head to foot—face included—and linking limbs together to form one moving organism. They had to shuffle and crawl their way through the Charukala building, down the stairs, and across the street while maintaining the huddle. Curses and directions flew out from within the knot in a handful of different languages. It was sweaty, messy, and hilarious.

Kazi Wasef Mustafa, one of the randomly selected participants, laughingly talked about how surreal it was to feel so connected to a horde of strangers. Burhan Al Rahman, another participant, shared, “The act displayed many realities of collectivism such as evolution and communication of a single unified horde that is made up of individuals, united by their lack of identity and a current predicament. It reflected a primal yet ever continuing human process of survival, exploration and existence.”

The writer can be reached at sarah.anjum.bari@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Negotiating Darkness- Weight of Now

Morni Hills Performance Art Biennale 2018 

Initiated and organized by Harpreet Singh 

Curated by Guillaume Dufour Morin

Still from Live Performance on 2nd November -Negotiating Darkness -Weight of Now at Chandigarh Museum and College of Arts Photo by Hardev Singh Dev #MornihillsperformanceartBiennale 2018 Curated by Guillaume Dufour Morin and organized and initiated by Harpreet Singh

Photography By Hardev Singh Dev

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Interdisciplinary Printmaking – Dimple B Shah


Interdisciplinary Printmaking – Get to know Dimple B Shah

Printmaker, Painter and Performance Artist

My journey in arts and performance evolved from my interest in traditional theater. During college days in 1995, I had participated in major production of plays, and worked with independent theater groups. This exposure helped me to gather thorough knowledge about the backstage and onstage work. I’ve learn about the history of theater in India and internationally. At this point I was planning to take up this medium and wanted to make my career in it, but I realized that my inclination was towards arts and various art forms. That led me to take fine arts as career.

After graduation in Commerce, I took a completely new direction and completed a Diploma in Painting and Visual Arts and then developed my deep interest in Graphic (Printmaking). In 2001 I completed my Post Diploma in Printmaking.

The urge to study more made me to apply for various scholarships and luckily I got Commonwealth Award and went to a nine months residency at Glasgow Print studio.

I worked in several residencies for seventeen years and gained immense experience. I have participated in various international collective exhibitions and print biennials and some of my works are held by Indian and International collectors.

I outline my art practise as multidisciplinary, as my art has evolved through practice in various medium like performance, printmaking and many others. In recent years my focus is to blend these medium of art into an interdisciplinary language.

To me performance and live art, as a medium of expression, involves elements of time and space of my subconscious impulses, with the same time frame; it fulfills the dual-purpose of engaging the body as a mean of communication and drawing audience response directly and instantly.

For the past two decades I developed my language of expression by merging and working independently in these medium, working live art performances, trying to build a community of artists based on public projects.

I have done roughly more than fifty performances, all over the world and in different cities in my country focusing socio-political and ecological concerns, relevant historical facts of different cities and women’s issues. All my performances served as a comprehensive study, dealing with social issues in a visual expression along with video installation.

Printmaking became one of the most suitable medium for me to unfold the complexities and issues that I address in my work. The process of building the work through juxtaposing or overlapping layers, can be mapped in the complex structure of socio-human issues addressed in my work. From the past few years my art work has focused in identifying “Self” both in macro and micro level.

My work can be summoned up as a process of metaphoric distillation and can be applied to all major areas of concerns and issues: socio- political, ecological, environmental, psychological & philosophical and existential.

As an individual part of a social structure, having to navigate through all socio-political repercussions and develop perspicacity on human related issues, having to cope with emotive response of alienation, insecurity and fear (products of our “Post Modern” era) the duality of exploration is reflected in the concepts underlying my prints as well as in performance works.

Catharsis, Purification, Purging, Healing, Filtration, condensation and extraction of Pure /Self are key elements in my works. The major areas of my concerns are humanitarian whether they are related to war, migration crimes, women or socio-political issues.

All these thoughts and ideas go through a distillation process (psychological or physical) such as curiosity, doubt and philosophical questioning. It starts with collecting the source and data, to extract a purified element out of it, and then all this goes in alchemical jar (metaphorically to mind and body) to extract the Essential (purified element) which helps one healing experience and catharsis.

My journey as an artist developed from philosophical questions and became more complex when I was exposed to reality of prevailing social structure, like the first-hand experience of 2002 Gujarat riots, in Baroda Gujarat, where men, women and children were brutally killed, tortured and their private parts cut open, burnt etc. This affected drastically my thinking process and as an emotive response I performed ‘Saffron Border’ in 2003 at Kanoria Art Center and Bangalore Kala Mela Festival.

As previously stated, I went to Glasgow print studio residency for nine month and after experiencing Glasgow I felt a hollowness void space in whole set up process. I turned toward my own roots, exploring both western and Indian alchemy, looking for answers, for healing and catharsis.

This residency was fruitful in evolving my perspective, presenting me the elements of healing and use of natural materials like milk, salt, turmeric ash etc.. That I still use. This residency led to my solo show at Glasgow Print studio – ‘Dichotomy Between and Body and Mind’ and later after three years with ‘Katharsis in Forbidden Zones’ which was about how one could achieve catharsis and also get healed, with installation, painting and video performance.

While I was developing my performance area I was simultaneously working on Printmaking and it was like a meditative performance. As I mentioned before, Printmaking has the ideal tools to bring various layers to the thinking process, through juxtaposing and overlapping, and I can add several dimension of thought in one complete picture.

This is the ongoing process of my research, to build a language and bring complex structure in a frame.

I am experimenting different techniques not commonly used together. My approach is usually multi plate photo etching and silkscreen. The main reason for liking these two mediums is because in these mediums there are more scope and possibility of working in detail and I can get the results with maximum precision. These mediums (etching and silkscreen) also give me the possibility to work in many colors, as many as 11 to 12 colors, and I can also use photographic and graphic images with intricate detailing.

I chose to specialize in printmaking because it involves innovative process of exploring the medium (e.g. creating multiple layers to structure the work) through a range of printing techniques such as silkscreen, photo-etching, offset and lithography. Also, making more than one original, through editions, answers my need of reaching wider audiences.

In my works the accidental quality is quite rare, my print works are usually preconceived ideas which come from preparatory paintings. To print I have to plan the plate making process thoroughly in order to get the exact result I have conceived. Lots of calculations on how many plates I am going to use, how it has to be worked technically, how many layers, colors and which images will be overlapped, are some major challenges while matching the image that I have conceived..

I really enjoy the combination of Painting, Printmaking & Performance. It really helps me to bring out my ideas into a different visual language. I feel the printmaking process as a ritual act because it requires immense focus and high level of discipline. I enjoy the challenge of preparing plates according to my requirements, with precision. It becomes both a challenge and a pleasure to mould zinc and iron plates by exploring all possibilities and techniques to get the results I want.

During my Master’s second year I had taken one big project for my final display. I wanted to make a print with 11 to 12 colors, so I prepared multiple plates as required with all possible techniques including aquatint, photo etching, gum bite etc.. When I printed the first proof (which was one laborious process of 3 hours of inking and wiping and top rolling the plates), I could not get the result I wanted and I took over 100 prints without succeeding.

I wanted to know what was wrong and analyzing the whole process I came across with one mistake, so I corrected that and then I get one of the best print till date. In this whole process I learned many things by making this particular project.

I work with various alchemical elements and essentials as the base to analyze different stages of purification.

The main concern in my work is to visually address issues of my subject “purification” and understanding how we achieve the idea/notion of Utopian land and Self. This idea is being visually worked with the help of references taken from old alchemical process. I am using old format to analyze, explore and understand our present day issues with contemporary language and modern perspective. I use images and text as metaphor, and they are juxtaposed to meet the requirements of the work. The images are inspired from various sources of my research on this subject mixed with my own ideas.

I have also used my own performance images in my works involving myself going into to the process of purification to understand it. The imagery that has evolved in my paintings is a combination of surreal and minimalist. Once, I have used directly copper etched plates with gold foils as part of one installation, instead of taking any print out of it. I would like to go beyond the boundaries of traditional printmaking and explore more possibilities.

In recent years I have been developing my works using all printing medium either it is woodcut, etching, silkscreen or lithography

The greatest difficulty for printmakers is having to depend on established Print Studios or have to own their setup for working. In India there are few studios where artist can go and work, and most of them are not updated with the latest facilities, usually they have just basic facilities and is difficult for artists to achieve desired results. Most of my photo etching plates are done outside from commercial block maker and are very expensive. Although I have worked in different printmaking studios still I have not been able to establish my own.

This article was written by Dimple B Shah and all images used were provided by her.

You can get to know her on her Facebook page.

Hope you enjoyed. If so, please leave a comment.
It’s a great help for the project and an easy way to give us a helping hand! 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The artist as a shaman - Echoes or Shamanism

The artist as a shaman - Echoes or Shamanism
24.09.2018 | REVIEW - Nadeche Remst

Performance event  curated by Nina Boas and Ieke Trinks ( organized by PAE Performance Art Event ) 

Dimple B Shah, photo: MADS Photographic
Is there a better way to understand shamanism than to experience it? In the weekend event Echoes of Shamanism organized by PAE (Performance Art Event) at Zone2Source, artists and thinkers bend about ideas about shamanism in contemporary art practice by having everyone experience it.

Dimple B. Shah from India asks the audience to stand outside in a circle, hand in hand, to feel the other's pulses with our eyes closed. She starts by squeezing the person next to her, after which the intention is that the gesture goes around the entire circle and returns to Shah herself. In the end no one comes back to her. She closes by giving a wipe of turmeric to everyone's right hand. Nobody understands exactly what this is for, but her credibility ensures that it is accepted accepting as something meaningful.
Dimple B Shah Photography Konstantin Guz
In the exhibition space Irina Birger shows her video work The Book of Happiness and Sadnesssee. In the video she leafs through her sketchbook, while she talks about her experience during an Ayahuasca ceremony, a centuries-old ritual in the Amazon, that serves as a medicine for body and soul. In a monologue Birger talks about this psychedelic experience, in which different themes seem to come back, such as relationships with others, but also themselves. In brightly colored drawings geometric structures can be seen that raise questions about femininity and emancipation, while she tells how men and women separated from each other in a ceremony. And you always hear her ask her questions about the inevitable dependence of the sexes: "It is necessary to realize that the mission is still needed," says the voice-over.
Jasper Griepink Photo: MADS Photographic
What the artists share is the belief in the possibility of human transformation

Irina Briger Photograhy by Konstantin Guz 
Birger's work is about the relationship between the individual and the collective, about belonging to a group such as during the Ayahuasca ceremony, which ultimately falls apart after experiencing the spiritual journey. There is social criticism in it. In recent years, undergoing such a ceremony has increased in popularity. The search for your inner self by immersing yourself in rituals and traditions of indigenous cultures is a beloved activity, after which everyone returns to the individualist, capitalist society. Such social criticism can also be seen in the work of Jasper Griepink, with his project Ultra Ecosexual Polyamory. Permaculture ASAP(2017) gives a utopian answer to the interaction between man and nature. In the accompanying spoken word manifesto he encourages man to deter the established order (the degenerative system of capitalism) by making love with nature. He wants to restore the relationship between man and nature and also develop a regenerative system that enables nature to be able to restore itself. At a time when it appears that human action is destructive for the earth, this seems more than necessary.

On Friday, when the emphasis is on contextualizing shamanism in performance art, with a closing lecture by philosopher Fons Elders, the most important element seems to be missing: the experience of the performances. The Saturday afternoon is planned for this, with sometimes simultaneous performances by Irina Birger, Jasper Griepink, Kleoni Manoussakis, Dimple B Shah and Akuzuru Tala. As a visitor you become whether you want to or not on the path to transformation and emotional purification. In the Glass House of Zone2Source also installations by Jasper Griepink, Dimple B. Shah and Akuzuru Tala can be seen, which are (or will be) part of the performances. Irina Birger's office setting also looks like an installation, where a screen shows the continuous animation Ouroboros or What's Eating You(2016) shows - which Birger developed during her residency at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin for the series TOTALITARIAN (2017). Ouroboros is the Greek word for tail-eater: a snake that eats its own tail, creating an infinite circle, an age-old mythical symbol for infinity, as a metaphor for the human condition.

Irina Birger invites the visitors to take a seat in front of her. She talks to you for ten to fifteen minutes, where she almost acts as a therapist, asking about your personal frustrations. In the meantime Birger intuitively draws with chalk on a black A4 sheet, which later on the glass wall allows a series to be formed - as a representation of the diversity of individuals.

A completely white appearance appears between the green branches of a pine. Jasper Griepink moves gracefully through the man made city park. He plays with the branches and rubs them against his body in a sexual manner. I hear a child respond: "And I also hear a nice song!" This is in contrast to the strange looks he gets from people who happen to be walking through the park.
In the accompanying spoken word manifesto, Griepink urges people to deter the established order (the degenerative system of capitalism) by making love with nature.

Dimple B Shah Photography by Konstantin Guz 
Dimple B. Shah created in the dark exhibition space of the Glass House a performance called Negotiating Purity - Albedo (Encoutering Catharsis) , with rituals from Jainism . I end up in an area stunned by incense, where Shah has installed her tent wrapped in white cloth. Visitors are given the opportunity to experience a ritualistic process by sitting in the tent opposite her. The emphasis here is on the involvement of all five senses. She concludes with the request to make a figure from the side-by-side heaps of rice, as a step towards catharsis .

 Akuzuru, photo: MADS Photographic
The highlight is how Akuzuru Tala, A kuzuru, allows the visitor to experience a process of transformation. The artist from Trinidad and Tobago does not leave her inspiration of the Carnivals unnoticed. With the suit she wears and the sculptural white mask she becomes part of the installation in which she moves, makes charcoal figures, hits glass vials, sticks with sticks against sticks, while making experimental noises. Eventually she cuts loose from her installation and then keeps a procession out.

Echoes or Shamanism exudes a certain optimism, something that is not unimportant at the time of ubiquitous gloom about the developments in the Anthropocene. Not everyone seems to be ready to make love with nature, but in a kind of trance they leave the Amstelpark.

Echoes of Shamanism , organized by PAE (Performance Art Event), Zone2Source, 14 - 16 September 2018, with Irina Birger, Jasper Griepink, Kleoni Manoussakis, Dimple B Shah, A kuzuru and Fons Elders.

Nadeche Remst
is a trainee at Metropolis M

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Art of the Lived Experiment

Grand Rapids Art Museum  April 10 - July 31, 2015


Dimple B Shah  Metamorphic Distillation  Etching 46.5 x 23 inches 2006

Katherine Araniello
(London), Bobby Baker (London), Anna Berndtson(Malmö), Jeremy Burleson(Oakland), Brian Catling (London), Ellie Collins (London), Ellen Friis (Copenhagen), Raphaëlle de Groot(Montreal), Tony Heaton (London), Wendy Jacob (Boston), Floris Kayak (London), Martin Kernels (New Haven), David Lock (London), Kate Mahony (London), Maurice Mbikayi (Democratic Republic of Congo), Alison O’Daniel (Los Angeles), Sinéad & Hugh O’Donnell (Dublin), Bekki Permian (London), Simon Raven (London), Dimple B. Shah (Bangalore), Katherine Sherwood (Berkeley), Laura Swanson (New York), Matthew Thompson (London), the vacuum cleaner (London), Aaron Williamson(London)

The inaugural DisArt Festival was from April 10-25, which enlivened the city with several expansive disability art exhibitions, a film festival, a fashion show, theatrical and dance performances, and other learning opportunities, all aimed at championing creativity and conquering prejudice in order to unite and strengthen the community at-large.

The centerpiece of the DisArt Festival was Art of the Lived Experiment. This exhibition was seen at DaDa Fest in Liverpool, England, and made its U.S. premiere in Grand Rapids. Art of the Lived Experiment featured the work of 20 internationally renowned disability artists, including sculptor Tony Heaton and performance artist Simon Raven. In addition to these works, six additional North American pieces were commissioned for the U.S., including those by mixed-media artist Jeremy Burleson and performance artist Raphaelle de Groot. The exhibition was organized by UICA, and was displayed at UICA, The Fed Galleries at KCAD, and Grand Rapids Art Museum from April 10 – July 31, 2015.

Co-curated by Amanda Cachia and Aaron Williamson for DisArt 2015, the exhibition brought together a range of artworks, including sculpture, video, painting, drawing, photography, ceramics and performance by US and international artists, many showing for the first time in this country. Process-based and performative work was strongly featured. An introductory “Ignition Room” at UICA presented an eclectic range of historical ephemera that illuminated the exhibition’s themes and included an acoustic chair, a gold disc and hearing aid as worn by singer Johnnie Ray, and material relating to Goya, Kafka, Isaac Newton, Sarah Bernhardt and Yves Klein. A fully illustrated publication accompanies the exhibition, and an accessible iOS app, ‘Access UICA,’ that is driven by iBeacon technology was active at all three venues.
Dimple B Shah     ' RESISTING COMBUSTION'      Etching     30 x20     2006 


Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts

2 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

April 10 - July 31, 2015

Kendall College of Art and Design, Ferris State University

17 Fountain St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

April 10 - July 31, 2015

Grand Rapids Art Museum

101 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

April 10 - July 31, 2015
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