Gautam Kansara


Save As… @ Shrine Empire Gallery, November 21 – December 13, 2014, New Delhi, India
November 10, 2014, 7:46 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

KansaraInvite

Gautam Kansara
Save As…

November 21 – December 13, 2014

Shrine Empire Gallery
7, Friends Colony (West)
New Delhi – 110 065
India

Shrine Empire Gallery is pleased to present Save As…, a solo exhibition by New York-based artist Gautam Kansara. This marks Kansara’s second solo show with the gallery.

Save As… is a media based exhibition that includes new works in photography, video, and sound.

The impulse behind Kansara’s work is elusive. The imagery he has created is documentary based, a diaristic mix of memories that is both deliberate and arbitrary. More important than the images themselves is what becomes of them, the process of how they are altered, reconfigured, and overwritten. Put through formal and conceptual changes, the images are distressed, broken apart, reassembled, and rephotographed. Through an arsenal of analog transforming devices, maneuvers, and gestures the imagery as well as the soundtrack is continually fractured and repaired. Shapes that once indicated emptiness become architectural. Narratives are buried within noisescapes. Figures become tangles of line but still manage to emerge.

In the series of videos Untitled(This is familiar but I can’t remember now…) projections illuminate large sheets of paper that have been torn, restitched and assembled together in abstract 3D forms. These temporary video sculptures are physically animated through performance, by aiming industrial fans towards them, and by shaking and swinging the suspended papers behind the scenes.

In the video Save As…(Sculps #2) footage drawn from Kansara’s family life and social life vie for visibility. Each scene is repeatedly fragmented and rebuilt during a kind of tabletop performance, a back and forth of dominating elements. Throughout the process some sense of wholeness is restored to the imagery but it’s no longer the original, it’s not in it’s initial form. It’s been re-made through projection, performance and collage, through materials that include editions of the New York Times, mail/letters, flour, bleach, water, paper, glass, photographs, wood, film, and videos.

Sound plays an important role throughout the exhibition. Layers upon layers of sound jockey for position, narrative threads and stories emerge but the content is jumbled and hard to decipher. Sounds emanate from all around the exhibition space, while discrete listening stations are interspersed, allowing the narratives to coalesce, to be heard. Sound and image are loosely connected. Some connections can be fleshed out by the viewer, many remain hidden and obscured.

Untitled(Self-Portraits/Selfies) is from a series of daily digital photographs, taken from 2010-2014, focusing on moments of melancholy or banality in Kansara’s day-to-day routine. These snapshots are then digitally inverted and printed as negatives on inkjet transparency film, which are then brought into the analog black and white darkroom for printing and processing on silver gelatin paper. The process of making the final print is alternative, involving partial development, direct sunlight, and powdered fixer. After this process the images are allowed to change in natural light for a period of days or weeks before being permanently fixed and washed. The digital to analog to alternative process alters the content of the once digital selfie, infusing it with accretions of information as time elapses.

Untitled(Bleached, Erased, Forgot) consists of eight bleached C-prints arranged on shelves. The images – analog color darkroom prints made by the artist – have been bleached to the point of erasure with only slight traces of the original photographs remaining. This act of destroying a previously made art object is double edged: it is violent, reckless, and sad, yet also an act of re-creation. Ultimately, Kansara positions this as a prism of actively forgetting, highlighting the transient nature of memory, of lived experience.

Daily life is increasingly mediated by recording devices that augment, replace, and alter how we experience events. The tendency to view and record live events through our cameras or phones is so ubiquitous that there is an inevitable negotiation between the experienced and the recorded reality in memory formation. Michael Specter, in his May 2014 New Yorker article, “Partial Recall”, tells us that “until memories are fixed, they are fragile and easily destroyed. It takes a few hours for new experiences to complete the biochemical and electrical process that transforms them from short-term to long-term memories. Over time, they become stronger and less vulnerable to interference. That process is referred to as consolidation by the psychologist Elizabeth Loftus from the University of California at Irvine.”

Elizabeth Phelps and Joseph LeDoux from New York University – according to Specter “among the nation’s leading investigators of the neural systems involved in memory” – posit that for memories to be recollected, the pathways in the brain in which the memory originated must be retraced, and that this act of recall actually changes the memory, a process scientists refer to as reconsolidation. Loftus expresses this with the analogy that “memory works a little bit like a Wikipedia page, you can go in there and change it, but so can other people”.

Specter says of the experiment by Karim Nader, conducted at LeDoux’s lab at New York University, that “Nader had demonstrated that the very act of remembering something makes it vulnerable to change. Like a text recalled from a computer’s hard drive, each memory was subject to editing. Whether the changes are slight or extensive, the new document is never quite the same as the original.”

Digital media and apps like Instagram have brought us into an era of memory profusion, where the sheer quantity of images leads to a devaluing of the past’s hold on the present. Terabytes of digital memories make us care less, as the archive comes to supersede the actual event until ultimately the recordings alter our memories of the events themselves, which are reduced to viewing experiences, where the narrative is open-ended and ripe for a remake.

The exhibition as a whole exposes the malleability and fugitive quality of memory, which modern media saturation accentuates. Our memories are now viewed through a lens that can be re-focused, as well as stored in a document that can be overwritten through the mechanism of Save As…. Kansara’s video and photographic processes mirror the activity of our neural pathways and synapses through which recollections are constantly saving, updating, and transforming along the way. Tinkering with our memories happens while brushing our teeth. The telephone game with ourselves, past, present, and future.



Poison Dartz, Ovary Action, Dean Cercone, Dan Y DanY, Gautam Kansara @ Secret Project Robot, February 2, 2014, 8pm, Brooklyn, NY
April 17, 2014, 2:32 pm
Filed under: Exhibitions

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SISTERS & BROTHERS! PLEASE JOIN US FOR A WILD WARMiNG NITE IN THE LITE OF THE 2ND NEW MOON AFTER THE WINTER SOLSTICE. WE WILL GET FEBRUARY OFF TO THE BEST START POSSIBLE TO CONTINUE THE TWENTY FOURTEEN LIFE BLAZING LIFE CELEBRATIONS AND RING IN THE YEAR OF THE HORSE!

8PM:::FIRST WE WILL DINE SO COME EARLY! COME HUNGRY!
BRING YOUR FAVORITE DISH TO SHARE!
POT! LUCK!!!

9 PM THEN WE WILL HEAR SEE PLAY MUSICK!
AND DELIGHT IN WORDS & STORIES & SIGHTS FOR SOAR EYES

DAN Y DANY https://www.facebook.com/DANyDANY.Band

DEAN CERCONE http://soundcloud.com/deancercone

OVARY ACTION https://www.facebook.com/pages/OvaryAction/579365285446826

POISON DARTZZZZ http://poisondartz.bandcamp.com/

Projections by GAUTAM KANSARA http://gautamkansara.wordpress.com



Faculty Studio: Gautam Kansara and Art 212-01 @ Manhattan Project(s), December 2013 – March 2014, New York City
December 18, 2013, 1:44 am
Filed under: Exhibitions

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Faculty Studio is an ongoing collaboration between Professor Gautam Kansara and Manhattan College’s digital photography classes. In the last decade collaborative art practices have been catapulted  into the mainstream.  Teaming up and joining forces have proved to be integral to innovative cultural production, where skills and ideas are traded and nurtured within a collective. Faculty Studio aims to engage students with the professional art practice of their professor, ascribing to a philosophy of learning through practice. Elements from Professor Kansara’s studio have been temporarily relocated to the gallery space within Manhattan College’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts. In effect Kansara’s practice has been transferred to the college and opened to the academic community  à la an artist-in-residence. Using the classroom as a forum to create and develop works that utilize the visual and conceptual underpinnings of Kansara’s work, the students become active participants as they are instructed and familiarized with their professor’s practice.

Kansara’s current body of work addresses the changing nature of memory. As daily life becomes increasingly mediated by recording devices that augment, replace, and alter how events are experienced, the veracity of memory becomes malleable. The tendency to view live events through our cameras or phones is so ubiquitous that there is a negotiation between the way one remembers events in their own mind, and how these events are represented through various recorded media. The imagery goes through several iterations, first captured by a video camera, then corrected on a computer, then projected onto paper and re-photographed, pointing to memory as being increasingly fugitive, viewed through a lens that can be re-focused and overwritten.

Artistic collaboration raises interesting and crucial questions about the nature of authorship and authenticity that inevitably disrupts the persistent and popular image of the artist as a ‘heroic’ solitary figure. Common to most collaborative practices is an implicit critique of the idea of the artist as a figure that stands outside of society engaged in an internal singular dialogue.

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The Seashells, Honne Wells, Niko Solorio, Skronklife, Gautam Kansara @ Secret Project Robot, December 5, 2013, 9pm, Brooklyn, NY
December 18, 2013, 1:37 am
Filed under: Exhibitions

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The Seashells!! 9PM
Honne Wells!!! 10PM
Niko Solorio!!!! 11PM
Skronklife!!!!! 12AM

Projections by Gautam Kansara!!

The opening night of Secret Project’s Magical Holiday Village!!
Show starts at 9 sharp. Come early. Bring extra cash for warm concoctions and wonderful Art-Books-Gifts-food-ect!!

Afterparty at Happy Fun Hideaway!!

Hope to see you there:)
XODS

Secret Project Robot Art Experiment Dean Anthony Cercone Jr. Savage Dalessi Diaz Sarah Frances Kuhn David Shull Happyfun Hideaway Niko Solorio Gautam Nikolai Kansara

The Seashells (members of Poison Dartz, Psalms, Dirty Churches, and Dean Cercone/ Moon Oracle)

Niko Solorio (Pocket Niko, Etiquette for Gentlemen)

Honne Wells

Skronklife (Lizzie & the Makers, Glenn Branca Ensemble)

Can’t wait!!!

Also, “Changes” by Raul de Nieves and Alexandra Drewchin on view through Dec. 9th



The Report/Where Gone the Body w/Friends @ Secret Project Robot, June 27, 2013, 8pm, Brooklyn, NY
September 1, 2013, 3:55 am
Filed under: Exhibitions

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Faculty Exhibition #4 @ National Academy Museum and School, January 31 – April 29, 2013, New York City
September 1, 2013, 3:52 am
Filed under: Exhibitions

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Poison Dartz and Friends @ Secret Project Robot, March 23, 2013, 9pm, Brooklyn, NY
September 1, 2013, 2:37 am
Filed under: Exhibitions

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