At the Kunsthaus Hamburg, Indian artist Tejal Shah will present her 5-channel video installation Between the Waves as an extensive spatial experience. In the installation, which premiered at dOCUMENTA (13), the artist develops her own vision of a cosmology that breaks with all standard conceptions of corporeality and consciousness, dissolving the boundaries between human, nature, culture, and other species.
The humanimal protagonists that appear in the films unselfconsciously embody ritualistic and intuitive explorations, unapologetically seeking closeness. The artist presents a radical imagination that is both a utopia and a dystopia. It can be asked if this deeply impressive as well as disturbing vision of a humankind haunted by waves of love over and over, will change anything in this world, as it is. Beyond the video installation, the Kunsthaus Hamburg is showing collages that are thematically linked to the films and premiering her new drawing installation unbecoming, which pivots on the Mahayana Buddhist ideal of the figure of the Bodhisattva.
In collaboration with the Hamburg University of Fine Arts, HFBK (Prof. Michaela Melián), Tejal Shah will outline the specific cultural context in which her works are created by presenting two film programmes. She has invited the Indian filmmaker and singer Shabnam Virmani as a special guest, whose films she will present and discuss. The works of both artists contain multiple thematic and conceptual links and they will jointly conduct a day-long workshop with the students at HFBK.
Shah will furthermore elucidate her current research on October 25 in a performance lecture also presented at the HFBK. For over two years, she has been focusing on key aspects of Tibetan Buddhism, which follows the Middle Way Philosophy School, a legacy of the erstwhile Nalanda University. She is thus drawing upon a living spiritual tradition that offers some of the most profound and scientifically compatible perspectives on the nature of reality and consciousness. Her main interest is in the practical application of the core insights proposed by this body of knowledge and its relevance to the total process of living in consonance. In Hamburg, she will give a public account of this intensive form of aesthetic research for the first time and Shabnam Virmani will also make an artist presentation alongside. This will further provide special insight into their practices, which are respectively both critical and urgent in the present cultural landscape of India.
Image: TEJAL SHAH, Between the waves - inner, 2012
Mixed media collage, digital print, 134,62 x 176,3 cm
Edition 5 + 2 AP
Courtesy of the artist, Project 88, Mumbai and Barbara Gross Galerie, Munich