“Each morning, the sea reveals itself, to those who know it like only they can…”

Ravi Agarwal’s site specific project has been built as a fictional conversation between two geographically disparate fishing community off the coast of South India on the Bay of Bengal, and those in Cuba, who “though strangers to each other, are tied together through a bond of the seas.” Overcoming the barriers of language, location and culture, Agarwal closely worked with the fisherfolks in Havana, in particular with Tato, Alvaro, and Fernando from Base Camilo Cienfuegos, and Miriam and Rafael from the fishing community in the Municipality of Casablanca. He also invited them to bring in objects, images, texts of their ecological connections as point of dialogue, that are currently displayed as part of the larger piece at the Biennale exhibit which includes his earlier work with the fisherfolks of Kottakuppam, Tamil Nadu, India.

Agarwal’s project supports a need to reflect on this fine balance, between nature as capital and nature as intrinsic values, between nature as need and nature as respect, between nature as function and nature as objects, in order to regain the unmeasurable complexity of our existence in it.

“The human and non – human are not two ends of a binary, nor are they one and the same: they are in – between, in an inextricable interplay of many shades and colors. Recovering these critical space of the interstice needs a re – insertion of the ways in which this crucial relationship manifests, which is fundamental for the future of our existence on the planet, especially in this moment of the Anthropocene where ecology is not recognised in its social, cultural and political inhabitations.  The rupture is not only a break, it is also a place for a bond and a space to negotiate the terms of coexistence.” – Ravi Agarwal

Agarwal  has  participated  in  several  institutional/Museum shows  including Ecology of Loss, 2019 curated by Marco Stoconi, PAV Centre, Turin; The Desert of the Anthropocene, 2019 India Art Fair, solo project presented by The Guild; Nŕdar/Prakriti, commissioned and presented by Edinburgh Printmakers as part of 2018 Edinburgh Art Festival; Can you hear the Sea Speak, Public Art Installation, 2018 Auroville 50thAnniversary; The Familiar is Always a Stanger, 2017 Francois Delecroix, IFI and Gallery Espace, (Bonjour India, 2 Person show); Kochi-Muziris Biennale, 2016 curated by Sudarshan Shetty; Documenta  XI (Kassel, 2002) curated by Okwui Enwezor; Sharjah Biennial 11 (2013) curated by Yuko Hasegawa; Zones of Contact:  Propositions on the Museum, co-curated by Vidya Shivadas, Akansha Rastogi, DeekshaNath,  Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Noida, 2013; The  Needle  on  the  Gauge: The  Testimonial  Image  in the works of Seven Indian Artists, curated by Ranjit Hoskote, Contemporary Art Centre of SA, Adelaide, Australia, 2012; Newtopia, curated by Katerina Gregos, various Museum venues,  Mechelen, Belgium, 2012; Critical Mass: Contemporary Art from India, curated by Tami Katz-Freiman and Rotem Ruff, Tel Aviv Museum of Contemporary Art, Israel, 2012; Z.N.E!,  Examples to Follow!, curated by Adrienne Goehler, traveling exhibition, Berlin, Mumbai, Adis Ababba, Beijing; Horn Please, Kunstmuseum, Bern, 2007, curated by Bernhard Fibicher and Suman Gopinath; Indian Highway 2009, Serpentine Gallery, curated by Julia Peyton-Jones, Hans Ulrich Obrist; Generation in Transition: New Art from India, Zacheta  National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland, and Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania curated by Magda Kardasz;  The Eye is a Lonely  Hunter:  Images  of  Humankind, at  Fotofestival  Mannheim_ludwigshafen_Heidelberg,  curated by Katerina Gregos and Solvej Helweg Ovesen;  After  the Crash at MuseoOrtoBotanico, Rome. His solo shows: Else all will be still at The Guild, Alibaug, 2015; Gallery Espace, 2016; Of Value and Labour, at The Guild, Mumbai, 2011; Flux: Dystopia, Utopia, Heterotopia, Gallery Espace, New Delhi. Agarwal recently co-curated a twin city public art project, Yamuna-Elbe. Public. Art. Ecology, in Hamburg and Delhi, organised by Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities, Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi GIZ & The City of Hamburg.




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