Dharti Arts Residency 2019


After months of conversation, of teasing apart definitions and terminology, of cross-referencing and allusion, it begins with the materials. The works on view have arisen as much from long deliberations as from elemental experiments, where continuous drawings have stretched across the walls, concrete has been stirred and crumbled, photographs have lain in acidic solution, and heat has been listened to.

The artists, from the very onset, were aware of the varied ways in which they occupied space, and yet they navigated dissonance by actively sharing it, reorienting themselves to listen⁠—really listen⁠—and participating with a generosity that reconciles divergent experiences and understandings of time. The residency spread itself across the long Delhi summer, programming an intensity into its interactions, after which (as much as we tried to circumvent it) we were constantly confronted by⁠—what exactly are you trying to say?

There is time, still, for answers, which at the moment remain rather alchemical. The propositions have emerged from tinkering⁠—objects have been immersed and eroded, the flow of irrigation has been reimagined through bamboo plumbing pipelines, and home has been reassembled in a series of images, images that are words, sentences, stories. The artist wonders what the ambient sound of Delhi looks like, and in what forms we can see the constant hum of an air conditioner. Bright, neon billboards have been rendered as an interactive puzzle, and Arabic melds into English which surfaces again as Malayalam. Tin trays serve as fertile fields, and a shrine invites you to distance yourself more closely. Here, slowly, carefully, we are thinking about a philosophy of residue.

The exhibition on view is not a culmination, but is composed of points for entry, rehearsals, and speculative interruptions. Each idea works in isolation, and yet there is a conversation in the tentative questions they have asked of their mediums. They remain (in)complete, at early stages of a processuality, and only find a semblance of resolution in encounters with the audience, the viewer, the visitor.

We are not sure, as yet, of the implications, but we can always work on the affinities.

– Samira Bose 


Dharmendra Prasad, Farah Mulla, Khursheed Ahmad, Shazia Salam

Residency Programmer

Samira Bose

Images courtesy Lumiere Project


Paribartana Mohanty, Mario D’Souza, Amitesh Grover, Meenakshi Thirukode, Meera Menezes, Arnika Ahldag, Mila Samdub, Nilanjana Nandy, Vidya Shivadas, Vishal K Dar, Sohrab Hura, Sudhanva Deshpande, Premjish Achari, Hanif Kureshi, Santhosh S, Sabih Ahmed, Gagandeep Singh

studio visits

Sohail Hashmi, St+art India Foundation, Thukral & Tagra, Astha Butail, Asim Waqif, Ravi Agarwal, Susanta Mandal, Arunkumar HG. Swaraj Art Archive, Khoj International Artists Association, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art


Premjish Achari, Samit Das, Hanif Kureshi