The Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art presents

Homepage 2014
Exhibitions. Talks. Workshops

Dates: 25 July – 06 September, 2014
Vanue: Vadehra Art Gallery
D-53, Defence Colony, New Delhi 110020

FICA presents Homepage, a 6-week programme featuring exhibitions and projects facilitated by the Foundation, and an exciting line-up of talks and workshops focused on young artists, curators and art educators. As the title suggests the exhibition brings to a single site an array of art events and shows all focusing on key areas of FICA’s work in the arts that includes support, art education and outreach.


Exhibitions and Project Displays

LIFETIMES Gipin Varghese
A solo exhibition by FICA Emerging Artist Award 2012

Gipin Varghese’s first solo exhibition in New Delhi titled Lifetimes features a body of works that he has produced over the last two years while exploring personal methodologies for relooking at news and imagery of violence, death and struggle emerging from non-urban contexts within India. Employing a semi-illustrative language Gipin Varghese goes about ‘re-documenting’ popular images from sensationalised news stories. Through this slow act of capturing on paper with paint the flashing news images about social violence, he pays tribute to the human element of loss, suffering and struggle that are the realities that are forgotten by today’s fast-paced world. The works from this exhibition are about the lives of ordinary men and women whose bodies slowly ebb away under their daily struggle against systems that exclude them and their needs. Their stark frames, gestures, and postures, amplify the hardship and violence that the bodies are put under, yet shy away from creating a sense of spectacle or shock.
Varghese received his BFA Painting from College of Fine Arts, Trivandrum, MFA Painting from Hyderabad Central University, and finished his PhD on mural and altar paintings of Kerala churches, from MG University, Kottayam, Kerala, in 2010. Varghese received the FICA Emerging Artist Award 2012 and traveled on a studio-residency to HSLU Luzern, Switzerland, through FICA's collaboration with Pro Helvetia - Swiss Arts Council, New Delhi. He has participated in group shows at Religare, Vadehra Art Gallery, and Sakshi Gallery, and most recently showed at Erfrischungsraum, HSLU, Luzern, Switzerland in 2013.


Suddenly this overview, reading the literal – a curatorial project by FICA Research Fellow 2013 Srajana Kaikini
Srajana Kaikini is a writer, curator, and researcher based out of Bangalore. After graduating in Architecture she completed her post-graduation in Arts and Aesthetics from JNU. She took part in de Appel's Curatorial Programme 2012/13 in Amsterdam where she co-curated with her colleagues the exhibition Bourgeois Leftovers. She presently works as consulting curator at MOD Institute, Bangalore. Her writing extends beyond academia into poetry, cinema and travel, and she is also a trained classical Odissi dancer. 

Following her de Appel programme Kaikini received the FICA Research Fellowship and spent three months at Delfina Foundation, Iniva and Goldsmiths Curatorial/Knowledge, London, where she extended her research on the theories of suggestions – rasa/dhvani - its intersections with ideas from Symbolist and Concrete poetry, and the role of the ‘literal’ object and the object ‘letter’ in contemporary art practices. As a part of this exhibition Kaikini has curated a (work-in-progress) virtual exhibition, a blueprint of sorts of her ideas and research that was conducted in London.


Kachra Seth's Observatory - by WALA (Sujit Mallick + Akansha Rastogi + Paribartana Mohanty) from their public art project supported by FICA Public Art Grant 2011

WALA is a New Delhi-based collective formed in 2009 by Sujit Mallik, Paribartana Mohanty and Akansha Rastogi. WALA sees itself as a producer of situations, encounters, devices and formats that allow dialogues to occur with or without the artists’ presence, through performance and community art projects.

WALA received the FICA Public Art Grant 2011 for the performance-project Kachra Seth’s Observatory. The project presented here has evolved from this two-year long engagement with the city of Delhi using modes of performance and dialogue. They have also participated in Sarai Reader 09 Exhibition curated by Raqs Media Collective, and produced the film project We in One Room Kitchen Field in collaboration with Kush Bahdwar which was screened in Germany (in an exhibition organised by Moritz Fingerhut) and Canada (as part of SAVAC Monitor 10, Film Festival curated by Shai Heredia) and four versions of the film were also screened at the Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon in 2012.


River Stroke – by Neha Thakar from her project at Eawag, Switzerland
Neha Thakar completed her degree in accountancy before shifting to study and specialise in painting from the M.S. University of Baroda. Since then she has been practicing as an independent artist based out of Baroda. She has participated in several group shows in India, and most recently had a solo show as part of by the Cultural Ministry of Hamburg, Germany (2013).
This work was created by Neha Thakar as part of the artists-in-labs Indo-Swiss Residency Exchange of the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK/ICS) in the Swiss Science Lab entitled Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Duebendorf, Switzerland. While the EAWAG team was investigating the collective imagination of rivers in the minds of the local people with the aim to analyze how science has been central to this process of imagining, Neha’s project presented an abstract yet visually layered language to reimagine this relationship between water bodies and human community.

This project was supported by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia New Delhi/Zurich and Swissnex Bangalore.


Talks & Workshops

25 July 2014 | 5:00pm

Suddenly this overview, reading the literal - Project presentation and reading session by Srajana Kaikini

Vadehra Art Gallery, D53, Defence Colony

As an extension of Srajana Kaikini’s virtual exhibition which will be on show at the gallery, she will be making a presentation/reading-session of the research that she has been developing since her time in at the residency in London. As someone keen on researching the spillovers between the written and spoken word, reading and the implication of reading in contemporary practices is of great interest to her.


28 July 2014 | 6:30pm

Strange Comfort (Afforded by the Profession) – Public lecture by Adam Szymczyk, moderated by Geeta Kapur | Presented in collaboration with Pro Helvetia- Swiss Arts Councl, New Delhi and IIC

India International Centre (Multipurpose Hall, Kamadevi Complex)

Adam Szymczyk is the Artistic Director of documenta 14 and Director and Chief Curator at Kunsthalle Basel. He was co-founder of Foksal Gallery Foundation in Warsaw, at which he worked as curator form 1997 till 2003, when he assumed his new post in Basel. At Kunsthalle Basel he organised exhibitions including Piotr Uklanski: Earth, Wind and Fire (2004); Tomma Abts  (2005); Gustav Metzger: In Memorium and Lee Lozano: Win First Don’t Last Win Last Don’t Care (both 2006); Micol Assael: Chizhevsky Lessons (2007); Danh Ho: Where the Lions Are (2009); Moyra Davey: Speaker Receiver (2010); Sung Hwan Kim: Line Wall (2011); Paul Sietsema and Adriana Lara: S.S.O.R. (both 2012), as well as group shows including Strange Comfort (Afforded by the Profession) (with Salvatore Lacagnina, 2010), How to Work/ How to Work (More for) Less (both n 2011). In 2008 he co-curated, with Elena Filipovic, the 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art under the title When Things Cast No Shadow and in 2012 he curated Olinka, or Where Movement is Created at Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. He is a Member of the Board of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. In 2001 he was the recipient of the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement at the Menil Foundation in Houston.

The public lecture will be moderated by Geeta Kapur, a Delhi-based critic and curator. Books: Contemporary Indian Artists (1978); When was Modernism (2000); Ends and Means (Forthcoming). Editorial Advisor: Journal of Arts and Ideas; Third Text; Marg. Curatorial Projects include: Bombay/Mumbai (co-curation), Century City, Tate Modern (2001); subTerrain, House of World Cultures, Berlin (2003); Aesthetic Bind , Chemould; 50, Mumbai (2013-14); Jury Member: Venice, Dakar and Sharjah Biennales/Member, Asian Art Council, Guggenheim Museum; Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong; Kochi-Muziris Biennale. Visiting Fellow and lectures: universities and museums worldwide. Padma Shri (2009).

For more information check Pro Helvetia website:


31 July 2014 | 5-7pm

More Than Luck: Making Things Work For Emerging Artists - Talk and discussion by Annapurna Garimella Vadehra Art Gallery, D53, Defence Colony

Artists throughout their careers need to re-present themselves and their work through portfolios, statements-of-purpose, applications and talks. An artist who effectively communicates with others about the extra-visual ideas behind a body of work and his or her long-term goals as an artist helps to build a dialogue that allows colleagues and audiences to engage with his or her art. This talk will focus on portfolio development, writing statements-of-purpose and applications for grants and residencies, and will be geared towards young artists.

Dr. Annapurna Garimella is a Bangalore and Delhi-based designer and an art historian. Her work focuses on late medieval Indic architecture and the history and practices of vernacular art forms in India after Independence. She heads Jackfruit, an organization with a specialized portfolio of design, research and curatorial projects for artists, museums, government and private institutions and non-profits. She is also the Founding and Managing Trustee of Art, Resources and Teaching Trust, a not-for-profit organization that runs a public art library, conducts independent research projects and does teaching and advisement for college and university students and the general public. Her most recent curatorial projects include Vernacular, in the Contemporary (Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi) and Faith: Manu Parekh in Benaras 1980-2012 (Art Alive, New Delhi) and the upcoming Drawing 2014 (Gallery Espace, New Delhi).


16 August 2014 | 6pm

Manifested - Performance and Activism through intercultural exchange - Presentation by Julia Villaseñor Bell and Priyanka Choudhary | Vadehra Art Gallery, D53, Defence Colony

This presentation will offer an account of the possibilities offered by art, activism and performance in different spaces of trauma and memory as well as an overview of Priyanka Choudhary’s performance practice in such places around the world which she developed after a residency in Mexico City facilitated by FICA, Prince Claus Fund and R.A.T. in 2013. The analysis of notions like making trauma visible and performing political violence were studied at the Encuentro Hemisférico 2014 in Montreal last June. Julia Villaseñor will bring forth an exposition on the artist/curator participation at the Encuentro and the new outcomes the experience has brought to both their practices and they way they envision activism as a means of cultural exchange.

Julia Villaseñor Bell completed her MA in Curating from the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne in 2010 after a BA in Art History in Paris X Nanterre. Her focus on bringing together distant cultures has been the core of her professional career, she has also started exchanges between artists in Mexico, France and India during her work in order to contrast sensibilities and find common threads of aesthetic and conceptual preoccupations between the Mexican and the International art scenes.

Priyanka Choudhary is a visual and performance artist based in Delhi who completed her BFA from College of Art, New Delhi, India. Her visual vocabulary traces its antecedents to Arte-Povera and Minimalism among other contemporary art movements. She has been exploring performance since 2012 and has travelled around the world to perform in places of trauma and memory.


16 August 2014

Learning with Art: Further Explorations – An art education symposium with artists and educators | By Invitation only | FICA Reading Room, D42 Defence Colony

Designed as an extension of FICA’s ongoing ‘Learning with Art’ project at Deepalaya School Kalkaji Extension, this symposium seeks to bring together a network of resource people (teachers, artists, educators) to develop sustainable ways to introduce art education into school curriculum, and through other independent ways (such as workshops, art courses, etc.) to student groups. The key questions that the symposium would seek to address are – how do we see art education as a part of the overall learning experience of students? How can independent institutions of arts and educators/artists already engaged in the task of working with student groups come together to exchange ideas and methods? How do we make the process more systematic and accessible? Through this symposium we also hope to engage with methods and possibilities of integrating art education into the larger curriculum in schools, and developing open resources that educators, teachers at schools and individuals can access for their teaching needs.


22 August 2014 | 6:00pm

Presentation by Aastha Chauhan | Vadehra Art Gallery, D53, Defence Colony

Aastha Chauhan specialized in sculpture both for her B.F.A, completed at the Government College of Art in Chandigarh, and her M.F.A. at New Delhi College of Art. She works with socially engaged art projects. She has worked in the neighborhood of Khirkee for the past decade; initially as the leader of the Community Arts program at the KHOJ studios located in Khirkee and later as an independent practitioner. She is also interested in micro broadcasting and works closely with 90.4MHz Henvalvani Community Radio. She will share some of her initial engagements in the neighborhood of Khirkee Extension, the relationships that grew out of these engagements and over time the collaborations that they facilitated.


23 August 2014 | 4:00-6:00pm

The Fort – theatre workshop by Maya Krishna Rao | By registration only | Vadehra Art Gallery, D53, Defence Colony

The Fort is a theatre workshop designed and conducted by actor and educator Maya Krishna Rao. It is designed specifically for teachers of elementary schools who are looking to extend their teaching methodology to look at more creative and collective ways of engaging with their students.  This workshop aims to help teachers plan classroom sessions using the arts to draw the children into a process of collective learning, explore how role-play can help the students engage with the subject, and make learning and teaching both fun and deeply impactful. This workshop is a step towards FICA Learning with Art’s new focus on working with school teachers to integrate art education into everyday teaching.

Maya Krishna Rao (b.1953) is a Delhi-based actor, director, writer, educator and activist, recognized for her original and innovative productions. Since the late 1970s, she has produced a body of work that has provoked her audiences to delve into social and political issues, even as it has amused and entertained them.


30 August 2014 | 5:00 – 7:00

Documentation in Practice | Public Lecture by Mrinalini Venkateshwaran (Eka - Cultural Resources and Research) | Vadehra Art Gallery, D53, Defence Colony

Eka Cultural Resources and Research was set up in 2009 to address the increasing need for a professional organisation within the culture and heritage industry. The company specializes in planning and creating archives, museums and cultural complexes. Eka also provides assistance in research, documentation and publication for a wide range of cultural industries. Mrinalini Venkateshwaran works as projects manager with Eka and has a formal background in archaeology and museum studies, with experience of working with museums in Indian and the UK. This talk will focus on key aspects of documentation which is relevant to artists today, both as a means to record their own work and as a research tool.


04 – 19 August 2014

AnecDOTes is a 14 day long series of actions by Samudra Kajal Saikia  as part of his research for Ila Dalmia FICA Research Grant 2013 | Closed group, invites only.

AnecDOTes is a 14 day long series of actions initiated by Samudra Kajal Saikia that associates a number of contemporary performance artists in India and young practitioners sharing their practices. The project aims at mapping the methods of 'documenting a performance', showcasing the process of concept development, and sharing of the spatial experiences. The 'documenting a performance' segment also adopts a method of live sketching as a tool of live documentation. This sketching will lead to a book making project ending up with a book of illustrations entitled 'Anecdotes'. The series of actions are divided into two segments. In each segment comprises a series of discussions, showcasing of previous works and a demonstrative work plan and ending up with the execution of a certain performance.


06 September 2014 | 6pm

Institutionalizing Practice and Practicing the Institution - Public Lecture by Vasudha Thozhur | Discussant: Santhosh Sandanandan | Vadehra Art Gallery, D53, Defence Colony

As part of the current project of setting up a Fine Art department at the Shiv Nadar University in Greater Noida, this paper looks at curriculum-making and its outcome from a practice-based perspective. It examines ways of widening the scope as well as the depth of some of the perceptions that surround the attempt and at the possibility of structural change at the root of understanding terms that we commonly use.

Vasudha Thozhur is a painter who studied at the College of Arts and Crafts, Madras and the School of Art and Design, Croydon, UK. She is currently Associate Professor and part of the core group that is involved in setting up the MFA program for the Department of Art, Design and Performing Arts at Shiv Nadar University. She has also taught and held workshops as visiting faculty at M.S University, Baroda, NID, Ahmedabad and IICD, Jaipur. Thozhur received two grants from the India Foundation for the Arts, Bangalore (2004–06 & 2009–11) to carry on a research project ‘The Himmat Workshops’, in collaboration with the activist organization Himmat that was set up in Vatva, Ahmedabad during the Gujarat communal carnage of 2002.

Santhosh Sadanandan is Assistant Professor at the School of Culture and Creative Expressions, Ambedkar University, Delhi. He trained in Art History and Criticism from the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University of Baroda. His area of work is in the field of critical historiography of Indian art historical studies and cultural practices in relation to minoritarian politics.


For registrations and queries please contact FICA at
Please note: some events may be subject to change. You can confirm final details of all events on our website on or before the date of the event.