About this event
Mon 1 Nov – Tue 30 Nov
Curated by Hamja Ahsan
enter10 is Watermans’ annual exhibition of the year’s finest work by South Asian New Media Graduates.
Hosted by Watermans New Media Gallery, this show provides a platform to showcase the emerging talent in the field of digital art and media production. This year’s exhibition comprises of a wide range of works including photography, film, interactive sculpture and graphic and communication design.
The exhibiting artists have been handpicked from some of the country’s leading Institutes that offer unique opportunities in exploring new media. The artists were chosen on their ability to utilise new technologies and apply them in creative practice in order to articulate their responses to contemporary issues in an innovative manner.
What is the Weight of the Moon?
What is the Weight of the Moon? is taken from ‘The Middleman’ a film by Satyajit Rai which is part of a cycle of films on what is political about being a student in 1970’s Calcutta. The project is a response to the situation of 50,000+ Bengali students whose colleges are under investigation by the government as being potentially bogus. Often seen as ambiguous signboards around East London, the visibility of the college signboards and the invisibility of the students are questioned using video as an apparatus. By placing the interviewed students outside the frame, the viewer is invited to become an active listener using field recordings, simultaneous translations of the interview audio in Bengali and English and control of a 3-channel mixer. The English version of the interview is re-enacted by the interviewer that seeks to explicate the performativity of speech and its relationship to power.
Nabil Ahmed, b. 1978 Dhaka, recently completed an MA in Interactive Media Critical Theory and Practice at Goldsmiths. His emerging practice involves working with people, software, video, the voice, and text to form critical responses to relevant, political questions. He has worked with various galleries, project spaces and institutions such as ISEA, the Victoria & Albert museum, no.w.here, Wet Sounds, Waterside Project Space, the Showroom, openvizor and others. He is the co-founder of Call & Response, London’s multi-channel sound art gallery and project space. He is currently a PhD student at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths.
“The purpose of art is to force us to notice” according to Viktor Shklovsky, a Russian Formalist who explored the technique of ‘defamiliarization’. Through this technique one can step back from the habitual way of thinking to make the familiar become more interesting by promoting an awareness of ones perception. Defamiliarization allows us to engage more with art and re-enhance the world around us. The notion is taken form his1917 essay ‘Art as Technique.’
As part of this exploration the instructions below were given to artists locally and globally.
An artist responds in 10 words to the word ‘defamiliarization’
This response is passed onto another artist in a different location
The second artist alters/ changes/ adapts the words
The second artist displays the interpreted words in a setting which represents their city/ country; a place which is familiar to them.
They then take a photograph/s of the new words in their new place
The photographs are then returned to the original artists who are re-introduced to their defamiliarized words in an unfamiliar location.
Artists, writers and thinkers from opposite parts of the world translate and exchange the verbal into the visual, the local to the global in an exploration of collaborative postcard collecting and interchanging. The transmission and retrieval of these responses will create the emergence of new narratives that will be shared and reacted upon through hybrid texts, images and temporary ownership. The authors will be a global network of artists.
The participants are asked to write down a quote on a blank postcard. A quote can be something they heard a passer-by say or it could be from an inspirational iconic figure.
This postcard is then passed onto someone in a different country who interprets the quote visually on the same postcard but on the reverse side.
Eventually all postcards will be sent to the original place of distribution and collected as a mass piece of collaborative work.
This project explores language and visual interchange and transmission from one person to another and our interpretations of fragments of different cultures as it is passed on globally. All correspondence is recorded on the objects (postcards) which have been battered; manipulated, over-written but simultaneously will carry the mutual physical handlings of the written into the visual.
Diana was born and raised in Rusholme, Manchester in 1979 to Bangladeshi parents. She moved in 2001 to do her BA (Hons) in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University and a Masters in Contemporary Fine Art Curating and Practice from Sheffield Hallam University.
Since graduating Diana has primarily been a visual artist. She has exhibited regionally in Nottingham at the Surface Gallery and View From Top Gallery. Nationally she has had work in the TINAG festival in London and The Site Gallery in Sheffield and a solo show at the Airspace Gallery in Hanley. Recently, she has exhibited work as part of the Roaming Biennial in Tehran and the Other Asia’s exhibition ‘ReDo Pakistan’ in Karachi, Pakistan.
Her medium involves painting, drawing, installation and text based work. She is interested in correspondence, networking and connectivity in her practice. Her text based work has featured in The Disarmory Newspaperin New York. Her work also plays with the subversion of the material and in her 2001 degree show her work, a table covered in jam entitled‘Aftermath’ was featured on the BBC arts website. Most recently her line of investigation has steered towards working with artists from different countries in mass exchange and re-interpretation projects.
Her co-curatorial projects includes ‘Up & Coming’ at the Contemporary Urban Centre in Liverpool and the Defamiliarization touring exhibition in London and Sheffield. Her recent solo curatorial work is an extension of her art practice exploring correspondence and international collaboration, the most recent being the touring ‘Subversive Correspondence’ in Bristol and London and ‘Dialoges: A Fake Romance?’ in South Wales. She is also the assistant curator for ‘Pop Samiti’, based in London which is an arts magazine exploring South Asian narratives.
English is the universal language of our world, but it is not the same everywhere. English is interwoven into the vernacular languages of ‘others’ who speak it but make it different. South Asia presents a unique case of language contact, convergence and assimilation: the voices of ordinary people in India betray a tension between the indigenous language of identity and authoritative English, the language of the economy.
The project involved interviews of people residing in India – unemployed, journalists, teachers, customer service executives, students and so on. While my series of typographic works attempts to amplify the voice, it draws inspiration from the Indian decorative arts exploring the love/hate relationship with English.
Geetika Alok has her interests in influences and relationships between typography and culture. She attempts to explore the abstract entity of the alphabet and its ability to embrace culture through type design. She finds her constant inspiration from the Indian decorative arts while exploring the issues involved with recent globalisation.
Reflect is the outcome of an MA Digital Arts project resulting in an installation presenting illuminated pattern-work in the form of an interactive sculpture. Utilising digital technologies to enhance Islamic patterns has allowed for the traditionally 2D format to be bought forth into the 3D world.
The results of user interaction provide real-time manipulation of lighting, where the physical activity represents the emotional encounter with feelings of confusion and understanding which evolve upon further exploration.
An altering display of structured patterns and distorted shapes alludes to theories of how our environment provides a reflection of divine creation.
My artistic practice comes from a combination of two very different arts – that of Islamic art and that of digital arts. My research has led me to treat both as cultures as well as practices and has resulted in my producing a contemporary take on traditional art forms – the key focus being on Islamic pattern-making and its symbolic significance.
By combining techniques such as photography, lighting, metal-work sculpture and open-source programming with the latest in digital technologies enables the presentation of dynamic visuals with projection and user-manipulation.
Using a variety of mediums allows me to take this geometric pattern-work further by bringing the traditionally 2D art form into the 3D realm helping to emphasise both the shapes and spaces they consist of. My aim is to create engaging installations allowing for a deep exploration of ideas around symbolism of structure and dis/order.
The viewer’s exploration and engagement of my work may lead them to question how the digital presentation of shapes and spaces could be a reflection of the natural world and its origins.
2 minutes 49 Seconds
GamerTag is a short movie attempting to show the ugliness of gaming addiction. The perspective of GamerTag is supposed to be that of a person watching the guy playing, rather than the perspective of the player himself. It is supposed to be a non-gamer, who is trying to imagine what the player is feeling while playing these games, as well as show what one sees when looking at the gamer.
I love filmmaking for many reasons, but most important of them all is, therapy. After becoming very addicted to gaming, from night to sunrise on the playstation, sleeping through most of the day feeling horrible when I eventually woke up I decided to finally take action and cure it by locking the problem away within a movie. I initially wanted to makeGamerTag as a way to cure this, but usually when I make a movie with therapy as a purpose, I have to wait to finish the movie and watch it before it takes effect; GamerTag however worked for me during production, which was a nice little plus.
Cherryade is the movie I consider my first. After two years of what could be described as a filmmakers block, two years of attempting to make a short movie only to fail, I finally decided to use a new technique. Dismissing my usual source of inspiration I decided to try and make a short movie following a set of rules provided by my teacher.
The task was to take a photo from a well known photographer and try to achieve the same look of the photo onto a one minute piece, as well as have great composition to the point where if you were to pause the piece at any point, that frame should work as a photo too. The photo I picked was A Ventriloquist by Jeff Wall.
Hafizur Rahman, a Bangladeshi born in London in the year of 1986, is currently studying filmmaking and working as a freelance video editor and graphic designer. After exploring different art forms such as poetry, painting and graphic design in 2002, after watching David Fincher’s Fight Club being immensely inspired by the attention to detail in every shot of the film, he finally decided to become a filmmaker and has been making short movies since.
Hafizur enjoys filmmaking as he sees it as the ultimate therapy, making very personal short movies dealing with his own current predicaments he sees filmmaking as a way to vent out and also document parts of his life. As well as working on his own personal projects Hafizur makes advertisements and promotional videos too.
Round Hole is a self-portrait that became a social experiment. It involved asking strangers especially women to take part in a video project without actually revealing any details. When the women did agree to particpate, they were blindfolded and asked to sit at a table and feel the objects around them. They were unaware of being videoed and their vulnerability at being in a strange space with a stranger is evident in the video. The work is titled in order to reflect a hint of eroticism evident in the video but hopefully also leaves the work open to contemplation and conjecture.
Platform – 2
My memories of travelling in an Indian train in the rush hour, packed like sardines into the compartments with 100s of other commuters, the heat, the humidity, the sweat, the smell of fish coming from the clothes and the baskets of fishmongers, the smell of slums on both sides of the platform, still fresh in my mind, inspired me to create this installation. I decided to project the video image of the evening commuters in a train in Mumbai in a rubbish bin. It was a challenging installation and I could successfully realise my intention to focus on not just the content of the work but to contextually represent its meaning.
Technology such as CCTV cameras and video projectors are not just a device but are an enabling structure that seamlessly merges into the fabric of modern urban space. C True is an art installation that uses CCTV and video projection in order to explore the seeming disparity between the viewers’ reception of a subject and its mediated image.
Rekha Sameer was born in Bombay and studied Fine Art in Singapore and London. She is a recent post graduate from Central St Martins College of Art and Design, London and is currently based and working in London. She has exhibited in galleries and art centres such as The Hat Factory, Luton; B-Fest, Luton Arts Festival; The Andrew Burton Gallery in Leeds; Camden Arts Centre and the World of Tea exhibition at Departure Centre, London. She was also commissioned to do a video diary for the GX Fun Run, 2010.
Having lived in India, Singapore and London, Rekha’s art proposes an insightful statement of the status of the individual in an urban city context and the effect that the landscape, architecture and culture of the Metropolis has on social relationships.
The artist works with multi mediums such as CCTV cameras, sound, video projections and installations as well as plaster and clay to realise her conceptual concerns.
Kanwarias, Varanasi 2009
(Series of 6 C-Type Lambda Prints)
On the banks of the holy river Ganges, these Saffron-clad devotees of Shiva known as Kanwarias have completed the annual journey that approximately 3 million people make over a two week period. This journey, undertaken bare foot from all over India to the Ganges every year in the auspicious month of Shravan (the first month of the Indian Monsoon), is completed by dipping into the Ganges and collecting holy water.
Like the first drops of the rains, the pilgrimages of these devotees mark the onset of the great Indian monsoon. How will the fluctuations in the onset of the monsoon affect cultural traditions, which are integrally linked with the arrival of the rain?
Nishant Shukla, a British-born artist spent his formative years living between India, Saudi Arabia and the U.K. He has exhibited forfreshfacedandwildeyed09at The Photographers Gallery, Nikon Discovery Awards and various group shows in London and Delhi. Nishant was the recipient of the Vice Chancellors Award from TVU to pursue an MA in Photography. He continues to produce work based in the U.K. and India and will be showing an extended version of this series at Photomonth, 2010.
Hamja Ahsan, co-curator
Hamja Ahsan (b. 1981) is an artist and independent curator of the Bengali-Islamic diaspora, based in London.
Ahsan’s practice encompasses the entire span of media: drawing, sound, painting, appropriated text work, sculpture, photography, performance, video, directing exhibitions and critical writing. His thematic concerns as an artist revolves around post-colonial history, diaspora politics, indexing time, the prison system and new formations of Imperialism.
He has previously presented projects at Tate Britain, The Guild Gallery (New York), Deptford X, Shanaakht Festival (Pakistan), Shiplakala Academy (Bangladesh) and across artist-run spaces.
He is the co-director of Other Asias – an artists-run organ of 10 interweaving curatorial currents, exploring national and regional representation, unthinking Eurocentrism, the language of officialdom and public access, and the politics of exclusion and inclusion. He is the co-curator with Fatima Hussain of the REDO Pakistan project – a nomadic art project that circulates through the UK, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
He is currently working on a collaborative archival project with the jazz musician Zoe Rahman, exploring Bangladeshi nationhood as performative identity. His recent work included producing video installation as commissioned media artist for Bangladesh Independence Day and performative art writing around Other Asias keywords lexicon for Resonance FM.
Hamja is a Chelsea (MA Critical Writing & Curatorial Practice) and Central St Martins (BA Fine Art) alumnus.
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