Exhibition Launch Party and Curator’s Tour
A special launch party to celebrate the opening of Unquiet Moments: Capturing the Everyday, the first online exhibition by the MA Curating the Art Museum students at The Courtauld Institute of Art.
Artist’s Talk with Sunil Gupta
Artist Sunil Gupta and art historian Fiona Anderson discussed two of the artist’s photographic series, Exiles and Mr Malhotra’s Party, in relation to themes explored in the exhibition Unquiet Moments: Capturing the Everyday.
In 1986, Sunil Gupta was commissioned by The Photographers’ Gallery to document the lives of gay men in Delhi. The resulting photographs, which feature a group of anonymous volunteers, provide visual evidence of private moments of love and friendship that typically went undocumented. Exiles has been described by Gupta as ‘staged documentary’, originating from an activist imperative to create images of a community he felt ‘just didn’t seem to exist’ within cultural production. When Gupta returned to India in 2007, he found the younger generation more willing to identify themselves. In Mr Malhotra’s Party, named individuals were photographed in spaces they live and work in, inscribing their presence within the city’s social scene and family structures.
This artist’s talk placed these two series in dialogue, exploring the continuities and differences between both bodies of work. Gupta and Anderson discussed the activist impulse behind both series, Gupta’s photographic process, and the reception of these images in relation to mainstream coverage of queer communities in India.
Artists in Conversation with Karl Ohiri and Mohini Chandra,
Artists Mohini Chandra and Karl Ohiri came together to discuss their work in relation to the exhibition Unquiet Moments: Capturing the Everyday.
Chandra and Ohiri are artists whose work examines similar questions of cultural belonging, heritage, and migration. Unquiet Moments: Capturing the Everyday includes two important works by these artists, Chandra’s album pacifica and Ohiri’s How to mend a broken heart, which are linked by their re-contextualisation of personal artefacts to explore wider complexities surrounding family and communal histories.
This conversation explored the social function of photography in articulating individual and collective histories, as well as both artists’ appreciation for the physicality of this medium in the pre-digital era. The conversation was moderated by a member of the MA Curating the Art Museum course.
Double-bill Film Screening, Andrea Luka Zimmerman’s Estate, A Reverie and Mikhail Karikis’s Children of Unquiet, screenings followed by a conversation between artists.
Artists and friends Andrea Luka Zimmerman and Mikhail Karikis came together for a special double-bill screening of their films Estate, A Reverie and Children of Unquiet
Filmed over seven years, Zimmerman’s Estate, A Reverie offers an intimate insight into the community of the Haggerston public housing estate in London in the years prior to its demolition. Made in close collaboration with the estate’s residents, the film seeks to avoid the statistical lens through which housing estates are so often viewed. Zimmerman’s film emphasises the ‘spirited existence’ of this community, whilst quietly drawing attention to the underlying neglect inflicted by wider social and political forces that govern their existence.
Also the result of close collaboration, in Mikhail Karikis’s Children of Unquiet a group of local children take over an abandoned geothermal power plant. Set within an area of Tuscany known as The Devil’s Valley, this failed modernist project stands as a metaphor for the economic and political disempowerment inflicted upon a younger generation by the vicissitudes of capitalist logic. Yet through their oral and physical interventions in the landscape, the children draw upon this sense of disquiet to challenge these prevailing narratives, evoking an alternative, more hopeful vision for the future.
This double-bill screening was followed by a conversation between the artists, who explored how these films relate to themes raised by the exhibition Unquiet Moments: Capturing the Everyday.
A special screening of Charlotte Prodger’s Turner Prize-winning film BRIDGIT to coincide with the exhibition Unquiet Moments: Capturing the Everyday
BRIDGIT explores how identity is constantly shifting in response to the people we meet, spaces we occupy and memories we hold. Prodger’s film was created using a compilation of three- to four-minute clips recorded on her iPhone, overlaid with spoken word and text. Shots of the artist’s home, views from the train and of the Aberdeenshire countryside are accompanied by insights into the artist’s lived experience as a queer woman. BRIDGIT employs the intimate, personal histories of Prodger and her circle as a means to address broader questions around formation of the self. The title refers to the Neolithic goddess Bridget, whose identity has shape-shifted across time and geographical boundaries.