Ravi agarwal: profile by Photo South asia

Photo South Asia

Profile of Ravi Agarwal by Photo South Asia.

Restart Podcast Ep. 43: A life in art, activism and electronic waste with Ravi Agarwal

Restart Radio
27 June 2019

Ravi Agarwal is a multifaceted artist and activist based in New Delhi. We hear Ravi’s reflections on his life between disciplines, and we learn about the work of his NGO, Toxics Link. We talk about the toxicity of e-waste and the threats it poses to people working in recycling sites.

RAVI AGARWAL. ECOLOGIES OF LOSS

Arte.It – The Map of Art in Italy
08 March 2019

On Friday 8th March 2019, PAV Parco Arte Vivente will present Ecologies of Loss, the first Italian solo exhibition of the Indian artist Ravi Agarwal. Curated by Marco Scotini, this exhibition continues his investigation into the relationship between artistic practices and ecological thought in the Asian continent, begun with the solo exhibition of the Chinese artist Zheng Bo Weed Party III. This investigation (around which there will soon be other events), wants to take stock of the “centrality of Asia in the climate crisis” as claimed by Amitav Ghosh. 

Ravi Agarwal - Ecologies of Loss

e-Flux
February 14, 2019

PAV Parco Arte Vivente presents Ecologies of Loss, the first Italian solo exhibition of the Indian artist Ravi Agarwal. Curated by Marco Scotini, this exhibition continues the investigation into the relationship between artistic practices and ecological thought in the Asian context, begun with the solo exhibition of the Chinese artist Zheng Bo. This research wants to take stock of the “centrality of Asia in the climate crisis” as claimed by Amitav Ghosh.

India Art Fair 2019: On the edge, provocative and at times even revolutionary

Jaideep Sen, Indian Express
February 01, 2019

THE heightened sense of anticipation at the India Art Fair 2019 cuts like a knife through the clouds of winter smog hanging low over the NSIC Grounds of the capital. The shows of note at the festival are many, by a number of acclaimed artists from India and overseas, but a few names have everybody’s attention piqued like icicles in a snow storm.

Reconstituting the Other: the State of Nature

Renuka Sawhney

Ravi Agarwal’s work takes the forms of photographs, videos, installation, research and writing on pressingenvironmental concerns and activism. In Else, all will be Still, Agarwal integrates these varied forms into complexenunciations of his engagement with specific bodies of knowledge; Agarwal tackles the epistemologies of natureand ecology placing them in a dance with the social contract through the ontology of its objects.

Installation art makes presence felt at India Art Fair

Siddhi Jain, The Quint
February 09, 2019

Another work by Ravi Agarwal called “The Desert of the Anthropocene” is an installation with photographic works, text, videos and objects, and is a part of an ongoing investigation into the current state of the nature — both as a crisis which traverses a political realm, but also a cultural contestation of how ‘nature’ is thought of as an abstract idea to be exploited, in the era of the Anthropocene.

It’s in their nature: Artists hold event for environment

Heena Khandelwal, DNA

Can artists succeed where activists have failed? Environmentalists and animals rights activists have not got very far with opposing development projects such as the Ken-Betwa river-linking project which threaten to damage ecologically-sensitive areas, but a unique theatre project held in the capital this weekend tried to see whether art could work any better.    

This was a  staged‘mock trial’ named ‘Landscape as Evidence: Artist as Witness’ with participation by ‘real’lawyers – Norma Alvares and Anand Grover – and a ‘real’, albeit retired, judge – Justice Yatindra Singh, the former Chief Justice of Chattisgarh High Court. The  ‘witnesses’ were artists Navjot Altaf, Ravi Agarwal and Sheba Chhachhi who presented ‘evidence’in the form of artworks which were examined and cross-examined by the lawyers . 

ECOLOGIES OF LOSS – Ravi Agarwal – PAV Parco Arte Vivente – Torino

Melograno Art Gallery

9 March, 2019

Venerdì 8 Marzo 2019, il PAV Parco Arte Vivente presenta Ecologies of Loss, la prima personale italiana dell’artista indiano Ravi Agarwal. Con questa mostra, a cura di Marco Scotini, prosegue l’indagine del rapporto tra pratiche artistiche e pensiero ecologista nel continente asiatico, inaugurata con la personale dell’artista cinese Zheng Bo Weed Party III. L’indagine (che vedrà presto altri appuntamenti) cerca di fare il punto sulla “centralità dell’Asia nella crisi climatica”, come sostiene Amitav Ghosh.

Tra i maggiori esponenti della scena artistica indiana, da decenni Ravi Agarwal conduce una pratica inter-disciplinare come artista, fotografo, attivista ambientale, scrittore e curatore. Il suo lavoro esplora questioni nodali dell’epoca contemporanea quali l’ecologia, la società, lo spazio urbano e rurale, il capitale. Per oltre quattro decadi, la fotografia ha costituito il medium d’elezione per il lavoro di Ravi Agarwal, che ha poi conosciuto una dimensione più estesa grazie all’inclusione di installazioni, video, interventi di arte pubblica, diari, all’interno di progetti dalla durata pluriennale.

Generation in Transition. New Art from India

Contemporary Art Centre, Lithuania

December 09, 2011

The exhibition entitled Generation in Transition presents the artworks of a young generation of artists of Indian origin, living and working in India, as well as in America and Europe.

It is the first extensive showcase of contemporary art from this region presented in Lithuania. For about twenty years now, India has been experiencing an enormous economic and technological development, which has had a substantial impact on social structures. This change, with its positive and negative aspects, is frequently reflected in the works of contemporary artists, especially in those of the youngest ones who have grown up in these interesting times of transition.

Personal spaces seep into photographic practices at Goa art exhibition

The New Indian Express

December 16, 2018

Curated by photographer-curator and environmental campaigner Ravi Agarwal, the show titled “Intimate Documents” looks at the photograph as a document that turns more contemporary as it showcases more of the photographer’s personal space.implementation and impact of industrial methods.

At Kochi biennale, Sangam poems throw light on nature

M T Saju, Times of India

February 15, 2017

Four years ago, when Ravi Agarwal decided to explain the unending possibilities of nature through his work, this artist-photographer searched for some ancient literary texts related to nature and landscape. A few months of searching led him to a copy of “Poems of love and war”, a collection of eight anthologies and the ten long poems of Sangam era. After reading the book, Agarwal didn’t look back. There were no other ancient poems, according to him, which could capture the relationship with nature so vibrantly as the Sangam poems.

Ravi Agarwal: In the Realm of Nature

Shreya Ray, Open Magazine
10 May, 2016

Ravi Agarwal’s photography forces us to ask: Is this what we do to nature? Is this what we do in turn, to ourselves?

Indian Highway – Contemporary Indian Video Art

Reykjavík Art Museum
September 9, 2010

The overall theme of the exhibition, Indian Highway, involves reflections on the importance of the road in migration and movement and as the link between rural and urban communities. The title also makes reference to technology and the ‘information superhighway’, which has been central to India’s economic boom. A common thread throughout is the way in which these artists demonstrate an active political and social engagement, examining complex issues in contemporary India that include environmentalism, religious sectarianism, globalization, gender, sexuality and class.

The Contemporary Indian Video Art is part of an unconventional travelling exhibition Indian Highway, which was first presented in 2008 at the Serpentine Gallery in London. The main curators of the exhibition—Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Directors of Serpentine Gallery, and Gunnar B. Kvaran, Director of Astrup Fearnley Museum, devise the exhibition to transform from one exhibition venue to another; they also introduce a radical curatorial model—“exhibition within the exhibition” where curators and artists are invited on an ongoing basis to apply new angles on India art, thereby allowing the exhibition to change its format and mode of expression.

Edinburgh Art Festival features of leading international and UK artists

The List
2 August 2018

At Edinburgh Printmakers, Indian artist Ravi Agarwal has his first solo UK show Nàdar / Prakriti, which is inspired by a research residency undertaken by the artist in the Scottish Highlands. Agarwal is interested in the pressures and challenges posed to nature in Scotland, a nation whose landscape looks an awful lot less unformed by human intervention than it actually is.

“Else, all will be still”: Delhi photographer Ravi Agarwal at Gallery Espace

Art Radar
April 11, 2016

Ravi Agarwal’s body of work is a keen and sustained contemplation on questions of ecological sustainability, urban developmental practices, capital and the human conditions of those who share an intimate relationship with the nature around them. His latest solo exhibition “Else, all will be still”, running at Gallery Espace in Delhi from 8 April to 14 May 2016, is a further excavation of his preoccupation with these issues, particularly man’s relationship to nature.

Besides photography, Delhi-based Agarwal also works with video, performance, public art, in situ installations and found objects. He is a writer, curator and an environmental activist who has written extensively on ecological issues and is Founder-Director of the NGO Toxic Link.

Ravi Agarwal — This monster needs to be fed!

DAS MÜLLPROJEKT
June 17, 2017

Waste has been accepted as an outcome of the material economy. It is produced throughout the extraction, production and consumption process. It is however in reality a waste of resources or ‘nature.’ At best we seem to be concerned with disposing waste, owing to health, hygiene and aesthetic considerations. So long as it ‘disappears’ without a ‘trace,’ we are comfortable with it. In fact till a few decades back, waste was not even considered to be a problem, and was dumped everywhere. Often the disposal of waste causes series challenges of containing toxicity in the form of emissions or effluents, which are partially overcome by employing high tech solutions which are extremely expensive, and even then inadequate.

Down and Out, labouring under globalization

Camilla Boemio, Landscape Stories
June 2012

Interview curated by Camilla Boemio

Re-imaging the river

India Seminar
2014

Project Y (Public. Art. Outreach) was a project held on the banks of the River Yamuna in Delhi. The event was part of a twin city Yamuna-Elbe Project1 which took place in Hamburg and Delhi in October and November 2011. The curatorial ideas to guide Project Y were to re-imagine and change the dominant narrative of the river as being ‘dirty’ to it being ‘beautiful’, and to ‘reproduce’ it as an ecological public space accessible to all. It was also a proposal for an ecologically sustainable Delhi, which is currently facing severe stress. Questions like ‘should rivers just be left alone and allowed to flow unfettered, irrespective of their utility’, or ‘how should we think of rivers, ecosystems, technology and urban spaces’ or ‘what happens when we replace economy with ecology’, and ‘does development answers the question of ecology’, were inscribed within.

Looking In/Looking Out: Contemporary Indian Photography from the Guar Collection

Massachusetts College of Art and Design
September 28, 2015

Project Y (Public. Art. Outreach) was a project held on the banks of the River Yamuna in Delhi. The event was part of a twin city Yamuna-Elbe Project1 which took place in Hamburg and Delhi in October and November 2011. The curatorial ideas to guide Project Y were to re-imagine and change the dominant narrative of the river as being ‘dirty’ to it being ‘beautiful’, and to ‘reproduce’ it as an ecological public space accessible to all. It was also a proposal for an ecologically sustainable Delhi, which is currently facing severe stress. Questions like ‘should rivers just be left alone and allowed to flow unfettered, irrespective of their utility’, or ‘how should we think of rivers, ecosystems, technology and urban spaces’ or ‘what happens when we replace economy with ecology’, and ‘does development answers the question of ecology’, were inscribed within.

Politics of a Planetary Future: An Interview with Ravi Agarwal

Caroline Picard, Bad at Sports

August 09, 2016

In 1887, The Illinois General Assembly reversed the  Chicago River, bringing water from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi instead of the other way around. Completed in the middle of the Industrial Revolution, the process ensured that the city of Chicago could reliably access clean water, despite the immense amount of industrial activity that relied upon and the waterway for production and trade. In 1999, the same lock system that made that reversal possible was acclaimed as the “Civil Engineering Monument of the Millennium” by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Both the award and the accomplishment are surreal, like something out of a China Miéville novel, perhaps especially because of the notorious pollution the same river, and it surrounding neighborhoods suffers. This industrialized approach to natural resources is not unique. It is in effect around the world, with different countries reflecting different stages and impacts of a philosophical approach in which the environment is recognized as an instrument for human affairs. Based out of New Delhi, artist, curator, writer and activist, Ravi Agarwal works to unearth the complexity of humanity’s ecological and economic imagination, drawing connections between Europe and India, while comparing the implementation and impact of industrial methods.

EXPLORE ECOLOGY WITH RAVI AGARWAL’S ART

Huzan Tata, Verve Magazine

November 22, 2015

Agarwal’s artworks focus on the ecosystem, and our ever-changing land, trying to find answers along the way, through a series of photographs, videos and installations. ‘Urgency is in the air. Else, all will be still,’ as the artist says.

Changing the way waste is treated

Sanghmitra Jethwani, DNA

February 14, 2018

A discussion among artists, activists and researchers sought to find a solution for the garbage crisis

Emplacing and Excavating the City: Art, Ecology, and Public Space in New Delhi

Christiane Brosius, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

August 03, 2015

An interesting case study for the exploration of how government institutions today regulate space and thus to some extent the imaginaries of national identity, is Ravi Agarwal’s work Extinct. Over the past ten years the artist, originally from New Delhi, has made the interesting transition from environmental activist and documentary photographer to artist and, of late, curator. He has worked with art installations that address issues such as declining industries and labour conditions in the context of high capitalism as well as pollution and farming, often with a focus on the river Yamuna. His own work has been exhibited abroad, for instance at documenta 11 (2002), curated by Okwui Enwezor, or in the travelling exhibition Indian Highway (Bublatzky 2011). Agarwal’s work for 48°C was research based and dealt with Delhi’s last three remaining vultures—stuffed and preserved in a diorama in the Natural History Museum near Connaught Place.

Curating Photography: Ravi Agarwal

Shalmali Shetty, Art Dose
8th January 2019

Using photography to document the every day is becoming a fundamental gesture. Making notes, recording textual pieces of evidence and capturing visual experiences is being realised today with the basic use of the camera. Fulfilling both social and personal intentions, this contextualised and documented information becomes a visual reference that survives for a later date.

Curator Ravi Agarwal brought together seven photographers for his curatorial intervention at the Serendipity Arts Festival’s 2018 edition, showcased at the Adil Shah Palace. Titled ‘Intimate Documents’, Ravi Agarwal was interested in making a proposal to observe the direction contemporary photography is taking, and to get one to think about what is happening in photography today, over other forms of curatorial intent.

Chennai’s complicated relationship with its dying rivers, as chronicled by artists

Vinita Govindarajan, Scroll.in
February 20, 2018

Nayar’s project is one of the 13 installations presented at DAMned Art Project, an exhibition organised by the Goethe Institute of Chennai, which runs until March 4. The exhibition displays ideas and simulations of public art based on Chennai’s polluted rivers, curated by artists Ravi Agarwal and Florian Matzner. Over 20 artists from India and Europe visited the city and walked along its chemical-ridden waters, meeting local communities who lived on its banks, to come up with an idea for a piece of public art, depicting their individual interpretations of what the rivers mean to the city.

Yamuna - Elbe public art project

Asia-Europe Foundation
October 16, 2011

Project Y: a Yamuna-Elbe Public Art and Outreach Project is initiated by the Ministry of Culture, Hamburg, and carried out in the framework of “Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities”. It is held in the cities of Delhi and Hamburg between October 16th and November 23rd, 2011, almost in parallel.

MIA (Minneapolis Institute of Art) exhibit showcases modern art from India

Marianne Combs, Minnesota Public Radio
October 24, 2008

The MIA has quite a few objects from India in its permanent collection, primarily sandstone carvings, watercolors and jewelry, all centuries old. Curator Bob Jacobsen says the exhibition opening this weekend offers Minnesotans a more contemporary perspective on some universal themes.

10th Edition India Art Fair 2018

Feministaa
February 22, 2018

India Art Fair, the leading platform for contemporary and modern art from South Asia, closed its tenth edition on 12 February 2018, amidst positive commentary from galleries, artists, museum professionals, and collectors. For the first time under the leadership of Fair Director Jagdip Jagpal, the 2018 India Art Fair set the tone for the future development of the fair’s offer, creating anticipation and confidence for future editions.

Ecological Contestations: Ravi Agarwal in Conversation with Ranjit Hoskote

Mohile Parikh Center
October 27, 2015

In this discussion, Ravi Agarwal and Ranjit Hoskote will converse on ideas of art, ecology and sustainability, linking them to the Agarwal’s art practice and environmental activism. The program is organized in conjunction with the artist’s ongoing exhibition, Else all will be still, at The Guild, Alibaug.

55th Venice Biennale: INTERVIEW WITH RAVI AGARWAL

Camilla Boemio, Maldives Pavilion
June 4, 2013

In this discussion, Ravi Agarwal and Ranjit Hoskote will converse on ideas of art, ecology and sustainability, linking them to the Agarwal’s art practice and environmental activism. The program is organized in conjunction with the artist’s ongoing exhibition, Else all will be still, at The Guild, Alibaug.

Mock trial explores artists' role in preserving environment

DNA
April 9, 2017

He charts out the ill effects point by point, presenting a video as an evidence, as Norma Alvares, a Bombay High Court advocate representing Agarwal, requests that the commission of enquiry should look into the river linking project in question.

In every sense: Groundbreaking projects at Serendipity Arts Festival 2018

The New Indian Express
January 11, 2019

While Goa did provide adequate room for the festival’s monumental spread of events, the clinching factor was easily in the hosts’ choice of curators — an epic assembly in itself, of eminent artists and figures including Rahaab Allana and Ravi Agarwal (photography), Ranjit Hoskote and Subodh Gupta (visual arts), Rahul Akerkar and Odette Mascarenhas (culinary arts), Leela Samson and Ranjana Dave (dance), Atul Kumar and Arundhati Nag (theatre), Aneesh Pradhan and Sneha Khanwalkar (music), as well as Annapurna Garimella and Rashmi Verma (craft).

In addition, a host of collateral projects were led by Shubha Mudgal, Ayush Kasliwal, Hanif Qureishi, Meenakshi Thirukode and Sabeena Gadihoke, among others.

Indian art, artists and their connect with the environment

The New Indian Express
January 10, 2017

Through the process of revisiting, mapping, building and understanding old properties, she tried to draw the crowd’s attention to the spaces that were once lost in time.

From Tamil to Torrin, comparative natural histories

Kevin Lelland, John Muir Trust

November 14, 2017

Kevin Lelland, the Trust’s Head of Communications and Membership, catches up with a renowned Indian artist and environmental campaigner.

Embrace our Rivers- Public Art and Ecology in India

Prakash Goldpearl, Chennayil

January 8, 2019

Art and its ideas have a special role to play in shaping our consciousness. Urban spaces, particularly those in rapidly expanding cities in new developing economies are in direct conflict with nature, as rivers, wetlands, green areas, are being changed to suit urbanization’s short term goals. To help re-think urban space as democratic and in coexistence with nature, Embrace our Rivers was proposed as a public art project in the coastal megacity of Chennai, India. It was to be held on the estuary of the very polluted river Cooum, where the highly polluted river meets the beautiful, wide Bay of Bengal at the Marina Beach, one of the longest beaches in any city.