Factory Remains: A curatorial art project by Madhuja Mukherjee
‘National Instruments Limited’ (NIL) was a public sector company located in Jadavpur, Kolkata. It was engaged in the design, development, and manufacture of fine opto-mechanical and opto-electronic instruments for a variety of end-users. It was set up in Jadavpur during 1957. At its peak, the spacious premises, covering about ten acres of land, is said to have hummed with the activity of about two thousand workers. NIL “entered its twilight’ in the late eighties, and manufactured a range of products like infra-red search lights, passive binoculars, theodolites, and night vision optical devices — for the army. In 1992, however, NIL was registered as sick industry and in 2003 all production stopped. Its collapse was rapid and its stature quickly dwindled.
In 2009 Jadavpur University acquired the land, and the Media Lab, Department of Film Studies, embarked on a massive documentation projects. As an extension of that project, this installation channelizes primarily three resources – Avik Mukhopadhyay’s photographs (shot on celluloid, Mamiya HB 25), images produce by Nikhil Arolkar, and Ankur Das’s film, along with a range of other images, to evoke a sense of time-wrap and create a ‘zone’, which exists between history and forgetfulness.
Madhuja Mukherjee is engaged with making of videos, and inter-media installations produced from archival material. Her academic training in literature, cinema studies, and social sciences and her interest in culture and media provoke her projects. She received ‘ArThink South-Asia’ fellowship for arts leadership (2013-14) and her installations have been exhibited at renowned galleries in India, and at the international programmes of ‘International Film Festival Rotterdam’ (2012), University of Pittsburgh (2014), ‘Kolkata Arts Festival’ (2017). She presented her curatorial work at collateral programmes of ‘Kochi-Muziris Biennial’ (2016-17). She has (co)written the screenplay of the internationally-acclaimed film ‘Qissa’ (2013), and ‘Carnival’ (2012), her experimental film, was screened at several international festivals. Madhuja is currently working on her second graphic-novel ‘The Dog Star’ (supported by IFA, Bangalore). She is teaches Film Studies in Jadavpur University, Kolkata, and has an alternative academic life.
Chromosome: An Interactive Art Installation by TAXI
The installation imagines a liminal space that invites the viewer to participate in the space and brings the space into being. Against the shifting images, the position of the static viewer produces a transformative space located in a forever present that neither follows traces nor leaves residues.
Suman Samajpati & Sourav Roy Chowdhury have been working collaboratively as ‘TAXI’ since 2007. TAXI employs photography, hand-painted photography, video and sound as the forms of their visual expression. Their works have been exhibited in India and abroad and have also been selected in numerous international festivals in USA, UK, Spain, Russia, Macau, Cuba, Germany, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Poland, France, Macedonia and The Netherlands including Noorderlicht PhotoFestival 2012. They have also participated at the 16th Biennial of Cerveira 2011, Portugal. They live and work in Kolkata, India.