2021 Virtual Exhibition

Anuj Vaidya


Forest Tales is a femiqueer speculative eco-cinema project that circulates in the gene pool of the Ramayana tradition. This restorying follows two of the secondary characters in the epic to tell tales at the edge of the sixth extinction: Sita, daughter of the earth, emerges as forest only to be confronted by their rapid fragmentation today, and the vulture Jatayu is resurrected with a prosthetic wing only to face the extinction of his kind in the present. As a speculative cinema project that performs the ‘cinematic’, Forest Tales not only reimagines narrative but form itself, drawing attention to the material and embodied aspects of the medium. Rather than an energy-intensive industrial cinema that fetishes the screen/image, this investigation proposes an artisanal cinema invested in community and collaboration. Given the modes of production, narrative and cinematic design, audience members are invited to imagine and co-create what this film could be. In the end, the project demands that we not only radically reimagine our pasts/presents/futures, but also reinvent the technologies that we use to narrate them. In the following slideshow, you will encounter the various incarnations of this project over the last six years, illuminating Sita not only as character, but also as a method and a politics for bringing forth the latent utopias submerged in our disabled ecologies.


Anuj Vaidya is an artist, curator, and student/teacher of multi-species thinking, performance and media-making, whose practice is deeply invested in community, process and collaboration. His work straddles many cusps – between cinema and performance, between art, science, and the humanities, between human and non-human, and between theory and practice. He is involved in numerous collectives including the Hypha Collective (on thinking with fungi and fermentation), Larval Rock Stars (on the larval as an engine for wondering about futures), and the YoloSol Collective (on thinking with the land and waterways of Yolo County). He is currently pursuing a PhD in Performance Studies at UC Davis.


Sumedha Bhattacharya


Untitled (2020). 6’20 sec

Concept, Choreography and Performance: Sumedha Bhattacharyya
Live Editing. Remote Live editing and camera switching: Rana Ghose, Reproduce artists
Sound design and edit, Live Musical Score: Sound.codes
Project Producer: Gia Singh Arora

This screendance film is an excerpt from a 30 mins live experimental performance based on the mythological confrontation of a female dancer allocating the camera as a character of New God. This was born out of my own exploration of surveillance as a Kathak dancer, having a female body dancing the male Gods. I was curious to explore the gaze and subversion of gaze that follows this experiment. The performance happened live including edit and sound on the digital platform with Reproduce Artists and Rana Ghose, geographically in two cities in India during the isolation of the pandemic and lockdown in India. I negotiated the idea of space and spectatorship using the notion of observer and the observed in the Panopticon, and confronted a new reality where the five temperamental Indian male God proxies (Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh, Krishna and Ram). As a choreographer of the piece, I wanted this performance to be controlled by an editor and a sound designer, however at the same time I wanted the viewer to feel intimate, vulnerable and discomforted from the fact of being looked at. 


Sumedha Bhattacharyya is an India-based interdisciplinary dance artist, researcher, educator, dance filmmaker and a primary caregiver, experimenting with camera, tradition and gender. As a Screendance practitioner, her artistic practice brings a fresh viewership of the camera as an artistic process for caring and contemplation; an enabling space for intergenerational bonding; and a narrative tool for dance pedagogy which challenges the existing formal qualities of “seeing” dance. She is a faculty at Jindal School of Liberal arts and Humanities, O.P Jindal University, currently pursuing her PhD in Spatial Arts at Jindal School of Art and Architecture. Her research interests include surveillance, memory, space and spectatorship , architecture and choreography, female gaze , mythology, and technology. She is also the founder of an evolving research-creation lab Duet with Camera. 

For more on her work: sumedhabhattacharyya.com and duetwithcamera.com

Sonam Chaturvedi


{from Greek ‘the times’}
a time-sensitive vending machine

KAIROI is realised within the framework of Five Million Incidents 2019-2020 supported by Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan in collaboration with Raqs Media Collective.    |   Technical support: Banana House (New Delhi)

Two machines were installed at Max Mueller Bhavan- New Delhi and Kolkata (India) for 6 months where they accumulated 24 days, 7 hours and 1 minute of time from the users/ ‘consumers’. This duration is put for auction at https://kairoi.in/ that can be attained by bidding through non-monetary bids as acts/ happenings. People bid to occupy a selected duration with ideas, like ‘I will crazily dance behind closed doors’ / ‘read time backwards’ / ‘I will zentangle’, and whichever bid gets highest votes, wins that duration of time and the bidder performs the bid/ task.

What does replacing money with time mean in a capitalist economy? What is this abstract feeling of spending the non-material (time) to obtain a material product? How can the value of each product be decided and weighed with a different duration of time?


sonam has her BFA from Faculty of Fine Arts– M.S. University, Baroda and MFA from Shiv Nadar University, Greater Noida. She has initiated collaborative art projects like first draft and –out-of-line–, received the FICA Public Art Grant for –out-of-line– and Five Million Incidents grant for KAIROI; she was Artreach India’s third teaching fellow in 2017. She has participated in exhibitions at Max Mueller Bhavan, FICA, India International Centre, IGNCA, Bikaner House and Mumbai Art Room, among others and was an artist-in-residence at What About Art? (Mumbai), Utsha Foundation for Contemporary Art (Bhubaneswar), O.P. Jindal Global University (Sonipat) and Kammari Residency (Treis Elies, Cyprus). Her writings have been published at BMJ Global, Hakara: Bi-lingual Journal, Art Dose Zine and others. She is also the founding member of the NGO- Jeevan Stambh Foundation started during the pandemic in 2020, and Artreach India’s Apprenticeships, Internships and Mentorships (AIM) manager.

She can be contacted at sonam.chaturvedi06@gmail.com

The Sketchbook Project (TSP)


The Sketchbook Project allows a glimpse into art becoming an archive of everyday experiences. From the sketchbooks of children living on construction sites in Sonipat, Haryana, The Sketchbook Project makes evident a repository of simultaneous awareness of their grassroots, as well as a free rein to their brave aspirations. Art becomes a mirror of exaggerated selves in the series of self-portraits, or hyper-real observations of the water-pump always outside the house, to cars and tractors as automobiles of everyday. 


Rahul, Akhilesh, Priti, Jyoti, Avdesh, Aarti and Srishti live on construction site in Sonipat, Haryana. These sketches have been made as part of the “Creative Sunday” class-without-school model. To learn more about his work, please visit: handspuncinema.wordpress.com