Gautam Kansara

The Time is NOW @ Scope Lounge, Scope New York 2015, March 6 – 8, 2015, New York City
March 5, 2015, 6:36 pm
Filed under: Exhibitions


A Man Was Lynched Yesterday, 2010
Acrylic on Board, 32 x 40 in.
Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, in partnership with SCOPE Art Show, is honored to present The Time is NOW. Coinciding with our 20th AnniversaryThe Time is NOW highlights 20 Rush Alumni contemporary artists who are addressing the issue of social injustice within the United States.  Through a variety of media including, sculpture, mixed media, photography, assemblage, drawing, printmaking, and video. The Time is NOW sheds light on the current events that plague our society.

Artists include

Derrick Adams |  Kimberly Becoat | Sanford Biggers | Michael Paul Britto

 Collin Chase | William Cordova | Brandon Coley Cox | Molly Crabapple

Sophia Dawson | Nicky Enright |  Stevenson Estime | Duron Jackson

Shani Jamila | Ann Johnson | Gautam Kansara | Coby Kennedy

Miguel Luciano | Christina Massey | Michael Mut | SolSax | Dread Scott

Stan Squirewell

The Time is NOW was inspired by the RESPOND exhibition at Smack Mellon in Dumbo, Brooklyn, NYC. After the recent verdicts regarding police brutality, Smack Mellon postponed a planned exhibition in order to respond to the continued failure of the United States to protect its black citizens from police discrimination and violence.

@SCOPE Lounge
639 W 46th St
New York, NY 10036
Fri | Mar 6 | 6PM – 10PM
Sat | Mar 7 | 11AM – 8PM
Sun | Mar 8 | 11AM – 8PM

Wearing Through News, Faculty Project(s) #5 @ Manhattan Project(s), Manhattan College, February 15 – April 15, 2015, New York City
March 5, 2015, 6:12 pm
Filed under: Exhibitions

wearingthroughnews“Wearing Through News” is an ongoing project that focuses on “important” headlines on the front-page of the New York Times. The importance of a story or headline is usually delineated by the font size. In this project I have focused on headlines that are of the utmost importance according to the editors, in that the font is large and all the letters are capitalized. Such large, capital, bold-faced headlines used to be, in years past, quite a rare occurrence. However, in recent history, as the pace of world events has accelaerated, so has the appearance of these headlines. In 2014 there were more than 10, while in 2001 there were only 2. The headlines are transferred to T-shirts through the analog photographic process of Cyanotype, which is in fact one of the earliest photographic processes, first discovered in 1842. In “Wearing Through News” the T-shirts have also been toned with various types and strengths of tea, a common toning agent, to deepen and separate the color. In addition these particular images have gone through an extreme bleaching process that has weakened the fabric. The cotton and the polyester have begun to separate, which means that through wearing and washing the images of the headlines will deteriorate and flake off over time, a reference to the temporary nature of any news story as it rises and falls within the confines of the 48-hour news cycle.

Experiments in Self-Portraiture @ National Academy Museum, January 29 – March 1, 2015, New York City
March 3, 2015, 11:28 pm
Filed under: Exhibitions

NationalSelf_01Experiments in Self-Portraiture.

January 29 – March 1, 2015
Opening reception on Wednesday, January 28, 6-8 PM

Experiments in Self-Portraiture features work by National Academy students and faculty that engages in self-representation. This exhibition is running in conjunction with the museum’s Self: Portraits of Artists in Their Absence and REVEALing Architecture in the Curatorial Lab.

Artists Include: Avello, Christina/Banner, Leigh/Baz, Pedro/Belenkov, Mikaela/Bratsafollis, MIchelle/Brown, Keke/Cameron, Kathryn/Camillucci, Monika/Chabora, Robert/Childress, Wyatt/Cuk, Mia/Degl’Innocenti, Jacopo/Delgado, Osmeli/Exha, Sofia/Esteban Martinez, Marisa/Ferran, Rafael/Fink, Gillian/Grassani, Rave/He, Bill/Honda, Eri/Honig, Ethelyn/Kansara, Gautam/Kantor, Chloe/Kostin, Julia/Lawrence, Betsy/Levi, Albert/Littell, Grace/Lopez, Julian/Lynch, Madeline/Malinowska, Malgorzata/Mattingly, Mary/Nagakura, Nami/Ogazon, Maria/Olinger, Marianna/Pena, Anastasia/Pena,/Francisca/Pinzon, Beverly/Raum, Morgan/Rothman, Taube/Roux, Henry/Sanna, Raimonda/Sarno, Grace/Shibata, Ayumi/Silverman, Jules/Smith, Karen/Soares Da Silva, Mariana/Stern,/Cary/Strauchen-Scherer, Eliza/Swanson, Judith/Thantapalit, Poramit/Thomas, Cara-Lynne/Tonin, April/Vandycke, Anne

SELF: Portraits of Artists in Their Absence.

January 29 – May 3, 2015

Artists have created self-portraits for centuries, in part to ensure presence in their absence. Self explores the relationship artists have with their own image and how self-representation has evolved over the past 200 years. In our age of compulsive self-celebration, it is an especially compelling moment to examine this enduring artistic genre.

The exhibition is organized by Maurizio Pellegrin, Creative Director; Diana Thompson, Curator of the Collection; and Filippo Fossati, Curator at Large.

Artists Include: Marina Abramović, Ivan Le Lorraine Albright, Boushra Almutawakel, Vincenzo Amato, William Anastasi, Lyle Ashton Harris, John Baldessari, Barry X Ball, Will Barnet, Jay Batlle, Cecilia Beaux, Thomas Hart Benton, Ellen Berkenblit, Ernest L. Blumenschein, Mary Shepard Greene Blumenschein, Umberto Boccioni, Mel Bochner, Dove Bradshaw, Colleen Browning, Brian Calvin, Peter Campus, Davide Cantoni, Chuck Close, Susanna Coffey, Daniela Comani, Gohar Dashti, Robert De Niro Sr., Aron Demetz, Sussan Deyhim, Edwin Walter Dickinson, David Dixon, Marcel Duchamp, Anh Duong, Asher B. Durand, Thomas Eakins, Charles Loring Elliott, Louis Faurer, Robert Feintuch, Carlo Ferraris, Stefano Fioresi, Gertrude Horsford Fiske, Saul Fletcher, John Frazee, Miguel Angel Garcia, Rachel Garrard, Shadi Ghadirian, Fereidoun Ghaffari, Amirali Ghasemi, Gilbert and George, Kathleen Gilje, Allen Ginsberg, William Gropper, George Grosz, Samia Halaby, Lilian Wescott Hale, Bendix Harms, Mona Hatoum, Ghazaleh Hedayat, Julie Heffernan, Barkley L. Hendricks, Daniel Huntington, Peter Hurd, Rana Javadi, Eastman Johnson, Titus Kaphar, James Karales, Herbert Katzman, Nadia Khawaja, William King, Everett Raymond Kinstler, Jeff Koons, Jacob Lawrence, Hughie Lee-Smith, Saul Leiter, Annette Lemieux, Mary Fairchild MacMonnies Low, Vivian Maier, Piero Manzoni, Carlo Maria Mariani, Ana Mendieta, Ivan Mestrovich, Felice Waldo Howell Mixter, Randy Moore, Walter Moroder, Samuel F.B. Morse, Bruce Nauman, Senga Nengudi, Shirin Neshat, Richard Nonas, Tameka Norris, Toyin Odutola, Catherine Opie, Dennis Oppenheim, Walter Pach, Philip Pearlstein, Robert Phillipp, Howardena Pindell, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Rona Pondick, Edith Mitchill Prellwitz, Florio Puenter, Luisa Rabbia, Arnulf Rainer, Ellen Emmet Rand, Annie Ratti, Robert Rauschenberg, Charles Sabba, Salvo, Paul Starrett Sample, John Singer Sargent, Peter Saul, Eugene Francis Savage, Salvatore Scarpitta, Andres Serrano, Jonathan Shahn, Cindy Sherman, Tal Shochat, Jessica Shokrian, William Arthur Smith, Raphael Soyer, Vera Tamari, Vladimir Tamari, Wayne Thiebaud, Anne Thulin, George Clair Tooker, Iké Udé, Walter Ufer, Carlos Vega, William Villalongo, Andy Warhol, William Wegman, Ai Weiwei, Hannah Wilke, Bill Witt, Beatrice Wood, Francesca Woodman, Andrew Newell Wyeth, James Browning Wyeth, Newell Covers Wyeth, Inass Yassin, Michele Zalopany

The National Academy Museum & School gratefully acknowledges support from the Sy Syms Foundation for School marketing initiatives and the Steven Steigman Fund for Young Artists for youth scholarships.

The Academy also gratefully acknowledges support for organization-wide activities from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Hearst Foundations, The Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason Foundation, The Greenwich Collection, The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank, The Reed Foundation, the Bonnie Cashin Fund, J.P. Morgan, The Cowles Charitable Trust, and the Alex J. Ettl Foundation.

We are also deeply grateful for the generous support of National Academicians, individual donors, Academy Patrons, and Friends Circle members whose contributions and participation are vital to the life of the Academy.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

NationalSelf_02 NationalSelf_03NationalSelf_04

RESPOND @ Smack Mellon, January 17 – February 22, 2015, Brooklyn, NY
March 3, 2015, 7:24 pm
Filed under: Exhibitions

Respond_SmackMellon copy

Kansara_NYT_ChokeholdExhibition Dates: January 17- February 22, 2015

After learning of the grand jury’s decision to not indict Daniel Pantaleo, Smack Mellon postponed a planned exhibition in order to respond to the continued failure of the United States to protect its black citizens from police discrimination and violence. In order to channel our outrage into actions that can facilitate systemic change, Smack Mellon’s gallery space will be used to present events, performances and artworks that affirm that black lives matter, express frustration and anger with the institutional racism that enables law enforcement to kill black members of the community with impunity, and imagine creative solutions and visionary alternatives to a broken justice system.

Smack Mellon’s current Studio Artists Esteban del Valle, Molly Dilworth, Oasa DuVerney, Ira Eduardovna, Steffani Jemison, and Dread Scott worked with Smack Mellon staff as lead organizers of RESPOND.

Over 600 artists working at all levels and in all media submitted work for the large exhibition that serves as the focal point of RESPOND. More than 200 voices of artists living across the country and internationally from seven countries were selected and will be represented in sculpture, video, and two-dimensional work—including emerging artists, mid-career artists, and young people exhibiting side-by-side.

Esteban del Valle, a Smack Mellon studio artist and muralist with Groundswell, will work on a mural with local teens to be included in the exhibition. Other works include: Heather Hart’s participatory drawing Skinned, where she invites visitors to press a piece of gold leaf onto the prepared surface of the drawing in exchange for a wish, responding specifically to the context of police violence; Mel Chin’s 1993 prototype of Night Rap, a weapon/tool hybrid made from an actual enforcement officer’s nightstick;  and Nina Berman’s photograph Funeral for Jose Luis Lebron, 1990.  Nina’s description of this image sums things up: On January 31, 1990 at 5:30 pm, in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York Police Officer Frank Albergo shot and killed 14-year-old Jose Luis Lebron, who was unarmed. An autopsy showed that Lebron was shot squarely in the back of the head. Albergo had been chasing Lebron for allegedly having robbed someone of $10.00 and claimed Lebron had been reaching for a gun. Eyewitnesses told a different tale. Four days earlier, also in Brooklyn, another police officer, shot and killed 17-year-old unarmed Louis Liranso. The two shootings touched off protest marches in Brooklyn. Both officers were cleared of any wrong doing. At Lebron’s funeral family member were overcome by grief and some tried to jump into the gravesite. The 2014 killings of Eric Garner and Akai Gurley, currently in the news, top a long list of similar shootings by the NYPD that have been going on for decades. With each new killing, old cases fall deeper down the list, and are quickly forgotten except by family members and loved ones. Jose Luis Lebron is one of those cases.

Smack Mellon’s 5,000 square foot gallery is being provided to community organizers, activists, artists, writers and performers to organize, collaborate, speak, perform, teach, lead and act.

Events will continue to be planned and presented throughout the run of the exhibition. A calendar of events will be updated regularly on our website,

Exhibiting Artists:
Atikur Abdul, Derrick Adams, Doba Afolabi, Eozen Agopian, All Hands on Deck, Ben Altman, Albert Areizaga, Andrea Arroyo, Carole Ashley, Ron Baron, Amanda Barragry, Kimberly Becoat, Anthea Behm, Allison Behrstock, Daniel Bejar, Guy Ben-Ari, Jesus Benavente, Nina Berman, Sanford Biggers, Tom Bogaert, Patricia Brace, Faith Briggs, Michael Paul Britto, Elliott Brown, Melissa Calderon, Luisa Caldwell, Crystal Z Campbell, David Cassidy, Colin Chase, Bivas Chaudhuri, Mel Chin, William Claps, Tim Clifford, Tracy Collins, William Cordova, Brandon Coley Cox, Molly Crabapple, Carla Cubit, Damien Davis, André LeRoy Davis, Sophia Dawson, Sharon De La Cruz, Rosetta DeBerardinis, Joseph DeLappe, Esteban del Valle, Molly Dilworth, Elizabeth Dorbad, Luba Drozd, Oasa DuVerney, Alexander Dwinell, Louise Eastman, Melissa Eder, Savior Elmundo, Nicky Enright, Liz Ensz, Stevenson Estimé, Sarah Farahat, Danielle Faulkner, Nona Faustine, Felipe Galindo, Rico Gatson, Daniel Giles, Jessica Goehring, Kyle Goen, Tami Gold, Shane Gooding, Kearra Gopee, Risha Gorig, Morgan Green, Emily Greenberg, Sanae Guerin, Ronald Hall, Ryan Hanson, Carla Jay Harris, Christopher Harrison, Heather Hart, Sharon Hayes, Mary Henderson, Rohan Henry, YK Hong, Germaine “Coco” Howard, HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN?, Akiko Ichikawa, Tomashi Jackson, Shani Jamila, Steffani Jemison, Olalekan Jeyifous, Ann Johnson, Leon Johnson, Andrew Ellis Johnson, Rashid Johnson, Olivia Johnston, Ayesha Jordan, David Joseph Jr, Dana Kane, Gautam Kansara, Kylene Kasch, Jerry Kearns, Coby Kennedy, Leslie Kerby, Basil Kincaid, Noelle King, Nsenga Knight, Mensa Kondo, Sandra Koponen, Anthony Lee, JC Lenochan, Jeremy Levine, Lmnopi, Dave Loewenstein, Vidho Lorville, Miguel Luciano, Wolf Luman, Kara Lynch, Jason Maas, Nina Macintosh, Maya Mackrandilal, Rhasaan Manning, Christina Massey, Rose Materdomini, McCallum and Tarry, Bud McNichol, Myra Miller, Al Miller, Amaris Modesto, Mario Moore, Ti-Rock Moore, Nyeema Morgan, Margaret Murphy, NCA 2nd Period Dance Class, NYC Solidarity with Palestine, Doris Neidl, NYC Solidarity with Palestine, Christopher Oates, Dawline-Jane Oni-Eseleh, Shaw Osha, Zakiya Owens, Mario Padilla, Kwan Taeck Park, Jason Patterson, Jessica Ann Peavy, Joshua Peters, Andrew Phan, Mary Pinto, Terrance Pitts, Jenny Polak, Carol Quint, Sarah Quinter, Issa Randall, Kameelah Rasheed, Nadine Renazile, Ayla Rexroth, Roberto Rischmaui, Shellyne Rodriguez, Benjamin Rojas, Margaret Roleke, Bayete Ross Smith, Russ Rowland, Jaffia Royes, Jude Rubenstein, Cynthia Ruse, Ashleigh Sampson, Sarah Sandman, Romulo Sans, Mariel Santana, SOL’SAX, Cesali Scarola, Dread Scott, Alex Seel, Jean Seestadt, Jessica Segall, Beldan Sezen, Rudy Shepherd, Greg Sholette, Kim Sillen, Jeffrey Sims, Monifa Skerritt-Perry, Sable Smith, Mariangeles Soto-Diaz, Fedele Spadafora, Savannah Spirit, Kurt Steger, Preach Sun, Dan Tague, Megan Tatem, Mirland Terlonge, Hank Willis Thomas, Ebony Thompson, Melissa Vandenberg, Kelly Vetter, Dareece Walker, Jordan Weber, Leila Weefur, Daryl Wells, Nafis White, Michelle Williams, Divine Williams, JB Wilson, Spencer Wolff, Jave Yoshimoto, Or Zubalsky + Huong Ngô, Sarah Zucker


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


Gautam Kansara
Save As…

November 21 – December 13, 2014

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

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









Projections by GAUTAM KANSARA

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


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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