Friday, February 19, 2010

A Place in New York

Navjot Altaf

A Place in New York

Reception with the Artist

Thursday February 18 – 07.00 - .9.00 pm

On view till March 8, 2010

The Guild Art Gallery is proud to present Navjot Altaf's research and interactive project titled A Place in New York.

Navjot was in New York on an eight week of residency programme – the outcome was an interactive project ‘A Place in New York – New York’, done shortly after she had exhibited ‘Bombay Shots’ at The Guild in Mumbai in 2008 and this project can be seen as an extension of that. Despite many political undercurrents, Navjot says that she finds both the cities have people from diverse cultures and backgrounds making these cities vital and dynamic.

“I am interested in the interactive and the dialogical process of art making, ‘Bombay Shots’ and my earlier work ‘Mumbai Meri Jaan’ helped me understand people’s reasons for migrating and their relationship / associations with the city and sites they relate to, visit or wish to visit, remember and like to be photographed with – in the process both the participant and the artist create a new dialogue and historicize such places.

My earlier visits to NYC for my exhibitions or otherwise usually took me to places of my own interest, which mostly included art museums, galleries, bookshops, performances, restaurants and studios of artist friends living in NYC in different parts and visits always seemed hectic in this gigantic, continuously building of upward grids and walking block after block to reach from subways to the chosen destinations… This time through the humane and physical stories narrated by the individual participants during our meetings and discussions and in the process of visiting and shooting the sites they said they relate to - sometimes I had to hunt for hours by following the road, bus and subway maps. Further by reading about the history, the planning of the city in the last 400 years, I discovered New York from a fresh and different perspective.

Apart from the visibility of the architecturally innovative and overpowering skyscrapers, the juxtapositions of old and new designs and the diversity which New York is generally known for; which I gradually started to keenly observe, and appreciate, is that nature is considered an integral part of plans and the development of the city. Open public spaces, playgrounds, riverside parks, botanical gardens, and waterfronts are accessible and lots of significant cultural events otherwise absolutely unaffordable for many take place in public spaces.”

Navjot was invited for 'Zones of Contact' Sydney Biennale, 2006. Her other recent participation/projects include; Lacuna in Testimony, Frost Museum, Florida; Public Places Private Spaces at Newark Museum, New York; Tiger by the Tail, Women Artists Transforming Culture at Brandies University/Museum Boston; 'Continuity and Transformation' Museum show, exhibition promoted by Provincia di Milano, Italy.

‘Groundworks’ Carnegie Mellon University, (RMG) Pittsburgh, U.S.A.; ‘Another Passage To India ‘, Theatre Saint Gervais and Musee d’ Ethnographie, Geneva.Switzerland; ‘Zoom –Art in Contemporary India’, Edificia Sede de Caixo Garal de Depositos, Lisbon.; ‘Century City’ - Bombay/Mumbai: City Politics and Visual Culture in the 90’s’, Tate Modern London, U.K.; 'SubTerrain' Indian Contemporary Art, House Of World Culture, Berlin. Solo exhibitions include ‘Touch’, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai; ‘Bombay Shots’, an interactive photo based project, at The Guild, Mumbai; Water Weaving’, video Installation, Talwar Gallery, New York, U.S.A.; ‘Junctions 1 2 3’at The Guild, Mumbai.

Navjot Altaf has been invited to present papers at various conferences/ seminars, for instance: 2005 ‘Shifting Paradigm’ Carnegie Mellon University, USA. ’How we know what we know’ Fukuoka Asian Art Museum Seminar during the First Asian Art Triennial-Japan.


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