Thursday, 31 December 2009

Season's Greetings and best wishes for 2010

Pro Helvetia New Delhi wishes you all a happy New Year. Thank you for your support during 2009. We look forward to a productive and inspiring 2010.

Pro Helvetia New Delhi wishes you all a happy New Year. 
Thank you for your support during 2009. 
We look forward to a productive and inspiring 2010.

Image: Atul Bhalla, New Delhi (INDIA)

The image used is extracted from Basel Walk by the Indian visual artist, Atul Bhalla which he created during his Residency at iaab, Basel, Switzerland in April 2009. He is often called a ‘new media practitioner' who employs video, photography, performance (performative photography) and sculpture within his works or installations.

TITLE-Basel Walk
(30th April 2009 / 13:26 pm to 3:38 pm

I attempted a walk, as one of my works during my Art Residency at iaab Studios, Basel with Pro Helvetia. This walk started from the Bruderholz Reservoir. Bruderholz is situated on a picturesque hillock above Basel. It has a water reservoir, which was built at the time, only for the upper class people in the neighbourhood. I started walking from the street named Reserviorstrasse to Wasserstrasse. Wasserstrasse is a small lane ending at a dead end in the ‘lower’ end of town which is going to be demolished for ‘better’ low cost housing, by a huge multi national pharmaceutical company based in Basel.

Water flows downhill; and would from Bruderholz to Wasserstrasse. Walking downhill from Bruderholz to Wasserstrasse I photographed all the “wasser” caps, that came along my way during my walk, which one would find all over the Basel roads and lanes. The ‘wasser’ caps or ‘water caps’ are iron caps, about 4 inches in diameter covering the actual control points of pipes which supply water to the city. So they are the main points from where water distribution to the city is controlled. This ‘performance’ materialized in a work consisting of 96 enlarged photographs transcending themselves from what they actually were, of all the ‘wasser caps’ I photographed during my walk displayed in chronological order. This sociological exercise turned out to be extremely interesting as I got a deep insight into the city and its history of functioning and water sharing.

This lead me to other water reservoirs of the city, old and new, abandoned and still to be commissioned. My practice as an artist interested in water was further enhanced with perspectives and insights from a different culture and a different city.


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