Curated by Nancy Adajania
Download the ZigZag Afterlives Programme here
Zigzag Afterlives engages with a set of epiphanic film experiments made by Indian artists and filmmakers during the 1960s and 1970s. It contextualises the unacknowledged histories of collaboration and experimentation against a backdrop of nationalism and anti-colonial struggle, the global counterculture, the student and civil rights movements, and the Cold War.
Crisscrossing disciplinary boundaries and geopolitical constructs in a productively non-linear constellation, we encounter an extraordinary film by the artist Akbar Padamsee, the catalyst of the Vision Exchange Workshop (VIEW), a trans-disciplinary collective initiated in the late 1960s; the Indo-Canadian artist P Mansaram’s collaboration with the prophetic media theorist Marshall McLuhan in the late 1960s; a relatively recent metaphysical investigation into Padamsee’s lost film made at VIEW by the filmmaker Ashim Ahluwalia (2016); a visionary, but unfinished film from the 1980s by the filmmaker Kumar Shahani, one of the leading participants of VIEW. I am especially delighted to exhibit the artist and filmmaker Nina Sugati SR’s films, which she made while a student at Cal Arts in the early 1970s. Nina’s films reveal a landscape of the political subconscious, a terrain that few male artists of Indian origin had dared to explore in the 1970s.
In addition to the film programme, please find links to the BBC Radio 3 programme Electronic India presented by Purgas and his conversation with Public Programme curator Matt Williams for Montez Press Radio entitled Indian Modernism: Design & Electronic Sound.