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Exhibitions | Mar 30 2019 7pm

RU Exhibition: THROUGH THE KĀLI-EROS – Immersive Performance in Installation, Kuldeep Singh

Kuldeep Singh, Architectonics of Dispersion Image credits: Zhiyuan Yang

Saturday, March 30, 2019
Performance starts at 7pm
Knockdown Center (52-19 Flushing Ave, Maspeth, NY 11378)

Knockdown Center and Residency Unlimited present Kuldeep Singh: THROUGH THE KĀLI-EROS, an evening of immersive performance in installation.

Kali, the often misunderstood goddess of time, terror, destruction and protection is visualized here as a system of performative and sonic tropes equated to Eros.

Weaving together visual art elements with Indian classical dance gestures and theatre, multidisciplinary artist Kuldeep Singh and his collaborators present THROUGH THE KĀLI-EROS, an installation based performance project where meanings and boundaries are blurred through pathos and eros.

Against a hypnotic score drawn from Hindustani classical music layered with tones of prolonged echoed narrations in gibberish and live instrumental music, the work interlaces a myriad of haunting gestures and fluctuating movements as acts, interspersed with a film projected on suspended painted surfaces. These performance acts are fragmented in nature and unfold on cracked mud and dirt ground within Knockdown Centers large industrial space. Reflecting on a chapter in the 12th century Sanskrit tome Manasollasà that addresses the nature of dance, the work attends to realities of the post-colonial world through a relationship between abstraction and representation.

THROUGH THE KĀLI-EROS presents the viewer with a concocted world of its own, where hybrid meanings lead to an inner cleansing mechanism.

About the artist

Kuldeep Singh is a multi-disciplinary artist with a compound artistic practice, comprising a system of non-linear narratives in visual art and multi-media performance. Through inventing situations in theatrical installations and hybrid myths, he surveys hiatuses in post-colonial histories. With his intensive, decade long training in the Indian classical dance form of Odissi (with critically acclaimed dancer Madhavi Mudgal, in New Delhi) he deconstructs components in movement and acting, sound/percussion mnemonics and spatial arrangements – all as re-arranged fragments in layers, engaging in body politics and social anthropology. The content transpires from eclectic stories across timelines, classic Sanskrit texts, and is layered to contemporary human situations – re emphasizing contemporary relevances.

Kuldeep is the recipient of some of the prestigious art residencies including: the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ME (2014), Yaddo, NY (2015) and Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, NE (2016); and has recently been artist in residence at Residency Unlimited, Brooklyn (2018) and at HH Art Spaces, Goa (2018) – on an award from Inlaks Foundation, Mumbai. He recently has been awarded the highly competitive New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (2018), in interdisciplinary arts category. Kuldeep holds the National Freedom of Expression Award, Mumbai (2009, Infinity Films). His selected solo performances include at the Kolkata International Performance Festival (2014), Yaddo (2015) and Rapid Pulse International Performance Festival in Chicago (2016), La Mama Theater (2016), and most recently at Asia Society, NYC (2018) to name a few. His selected lectures & demonstrations include at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art – New Delhi, Queens Museum – NYC, Delhi University, University College London, University of Iowa, University of Nebraska-Omaha and Hunter College, NYC.

Knockdown Center is an art center and performance space dedicated to unusual projects and collaborations. Featuring programming of diverse formats and media, Knockdown Center aims to create a radically cross-disciplinary environment. The particularity of our architectural environment and history leads us to gravitate toward projects that demonstrate a sensitive reactivity to site and environment.This 50,000 square-foot building has seen continuous use for more than 100 years: first as the Gleason-Tiebout glass factory, then as Manhattan Door factory. It is named for the Knock-Down door frame that was invented here in 1956 by Samuel Sklar and remains an industry standard to this day. The frame could be shipped in pieces — or “knocked down” — and installed into existing walls, revolutionizing the speed and efficiency of building construction. The factory has since remained in the Sklar family and is again a site for innovation. Having undergone a renovation that is equal parts preservationist and state of the art, Knockdown Center now produces and hosts cultural events and exhibitions that respond to its unique architecture and dimensions.

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KULDEEP SINGH