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Artist’s Breath II
Privatizing Air

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Privatizing Air underlines the transformation of air from the domain of the common to the private. As the smog makes the transparent and invisible air dangerously tangible, the present catastrophe – generated by overproduction and overconsumption – forces us to think about the air as a resource. By exploiting and exhausting the common natural resources, capitalism comes full circle. As a philosophy that advocates privatization, it led to a condition in which even clean air became a commodity, consumed through air purifiers and face masks to those who can afford them.

Corresponding with Piero Manzoni’s Fiato d’Artista (1960), Artist’s Breath II (2022) is a sound work which was recorded by the artist in a sleepless and breathless night. Inviting the viewer into a labyrinthic space in order to hear the audio, the work attempts to replicate the suffocating experience familiar to many of Delhi’s residents. Contrary to its mission of liberating the individual, privatization leads to a state in which one’s body becomes one’s cell.

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