Faculty Projects #1: Gautam Kansara “Dahl, Baht, Roti, Shak”, March 2012 – September 2012

Beginning with the video documentation of family meals at my grandparent’s flat in London from 2004-2008, Dahl, Baht, Roti, Shak strings together a time-warping narrative centered on an amalgamation of recorded conversations from around the family dinner table. Audio segments extracted from the recordings of those conversations are digitally collaged en masse, allowing the audio soundtrack to move along as if one complete conversation. While actually, segments of dialogue ranging from a few seconds to a minute are positioned chronologically, enabling the conversations to traverse their real-time boundaries and relate to past and future discussions directly. In addition using a combination of long-exposure and motion photography, digital prints are derived from the projections of the family meals. Each meal is compressed into its own singular image and together they turn our attention to the dining room itself, in a way that evokes a stage set, a microcosm of the wider world, containing the remnants of domestic dramas and private traumas.

Gautam Kansara (b. 1979, London) is an artist and educator based in Brooklyn, New York. Since 2002 his video and photographic work have been featured internationally in numerous exhibitions and screenings, including Multiple, Limited, Unique: Selections from the Permanent Collection at the Center for Book Arts, New York City (2011); Don’t Hurry, Don’t Worry at Shrine Empire Gallery in New Delhi (2010); No Soul For Sale at X-Initiative in New York City (2009), us between us at Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT (2008); Rencontres Internationales at the Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid and Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2008); We Will Always Be There For You at Kunsthaus Dresden (2008); TV Dinners at LMAK Projects, New York (2007); AIM 26 at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York (2006); Sex and Sadness at Platform Garanti, Istanbul (2006). Gautam has been an artist-in-residence at Smack Mellon, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Swing Space, and the Center for Book Arts, all in New York City. And since 2005 Gautam has been an adjunct professor at Manhattan College’s Department of Fine Arts. Most recently Malcolm Low/Formal Structure, an emergent dance company, commissioned a video from Gautam which was premiered as part of Collapsing Giant at Joyce Soho in New York City in March 2012.


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