Khoj’s InContext:public.art.ecology programme was instituted to create a public dialogue around ecological issues through artistic projects and interventions. Over the last two years, through its InContext residencies, Khoj is focusing on supporting projects and interventions that have dealt with a variety of ecological issues surrounding food.
In continuing with this trajectory, Khoj has now kick-started the InContext:public.art.ecology – Food Edition III residency. The food residency Ed. III constitutes a motley group of Indian and international artists including urban-farmers, environmentalists and New Media enthusiasts. With conversations around the politics of food, farming and land, cooking and un-cooking processes, food wastage, flight delays and lost baggage (for some), the residency started on a very energetic note.
Artists- in -residence include Mona Gandhi, whose constantly evolving work focuses on process and body based practices.Much of her work is around raw food, the politics of food, its relationship with body and the impact her food choices have on her life and her body. Mona’s inquiry into food –natural & industrial– deepens her engagement with local & sustainable food systems every day. Through the world of raw, plant-based foods, she explores connections between people & the planet. She proposes a series of short interventions during her stay at Khoj.
An environmentalist, activist, writer and curator, artist Ravi Agarwal is interested in traversing questions of the self and ecological sustainability based on explorations of personal ecologies. His earlier work, in the documentary oeuvre, encompasses nature, work, labour,and the street.
Italian artist Leone Contini has been an artist in residence for The Politics of Food, at the Delfina Foundation, London. While the scope and the form of his project are currently undefined, he is interested in the transportation and transformation of ancient vegetable types across borders and across the centuries. He sees India as integral to filling the gap in his already existent Euro-Chinese vegetable surveys. His practice would be researched based: “on the intersection between socio-political transformations, luminal and interstitial forms of agriculture (such as urban or peri-urban agriculture) and botanic inter-continental investigations.” He is currently also in conversation with the Indian Airport Authorities to further his inquiry into misplaced baggage systems and the process of lost baggage recovery!
Duo Simran Chopra and Suvani Suri have recently concluded a Masters programs in New Media design from NID, Ahmedabad. They are interested in the story of the urban food chain and the relation between food and design. During their stint at Khoj, they want to delve deeper into the food chain with technological interventions. As of now, we are very keen to know more about their talking apples and corns and look forward to communicating with live plants every day.
Artist Srishti Lakhera is a filmmaker, basket weaver and farmer. Her work is inspired by her journeys in the hills and the farmlands. Her need to indulge in visual storytelling comes from her urge for sharing her personal stories along with the stories of others as she tries to follow an anthropological approach to storytelling. At Khoj she aims to reclaim the connect between people and food in urban spaces; by mapping the journey of food from its roots to the plate and exploring the intricacies of the journey in between. She will start by experimenting on Khoj’s terrace. As Srishti states in her proposal, “the act of growing food in a city bridges the gap between urban and rural.” After three weeks Pakistani artists Rabbya Naseer and Hurmat ul Ain will be joining the residency at Khoj. Through their collaborative work, they have planned a series of public interventions in which the interaction will take place at a public site, without invitation. They are very interested in ‘chai’ and in their intervention the teahouse or café will become the “site for a narrative to be built, an exchange to unfold by employing the strategies of ‘service to strangers’ as a setting for potential and implied intimacy.” We look forward to more detailed conversations around food with them, once they have joined us here in New Delhi. Stay tuned in for more info on their work