June 26 - October 10, 2010
Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin
March 2 - June 6, 2012
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Desire Machine Collective - Sonal Jain and Mriganka Madhukaillya, Shumona Goel and Shai Heredia, Amar Kanwar, Kabir Mohanty with Vikram Joglekar
Being Singular Plural offers visitors the unique opportunity to encounter recent and new film, video, and sound-based works by seven of the most innovative and visionary contemporary artists, filmmakers, and media practitioners living and working in India today: Shumona Goel, Shai Heredia, Sonal Jain, Vikram Joglekar, Amar Kanwar, Mriganka Madhukaillya, and Kabir Mohanty. The works included in this presentation reveal the quiet principles of practice, process, and perception, while being grounded in a vital social consciousness. This timely and discourse-defining exhibition is oriented toward coproducing new work, facilitating research, and assembling a community of practitioners.
Following the Deutsche Guggenheim iteration of this exhibition-in-progress in Berlin, the New York presentation consists of seven context-specific projects, a majority of which have been specially conceived of or coproduced for this occasion. They are dispersed across three of the museum’s Annex Level galleries as well as in the New Media Theater and along the museum’s exterior. Philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy’s notion of “being singular plural” provides the exhibition’s structural framework. Recognizing the interconnectedness of all beings, the selected films, videos, and interactive sound installations invite visitors to reassess conventional boundaries between such categories as fiction and non-fiction, art and cinema, the still and moving image, documentation and poetry, and objectivity and subjectivity. By manipulating sound, image, and text in experimental ways, these practitioners shift viewers’ positions from passive spectatorship to active participation-to places where the “we” of “being together” is in the immediate here and now.
T. J. Demos, in reference to the first iteration of this exhibition, wrote: “By reorganizing aesthetic experience, these artworks compel us to transition from recognizing the self’s fundamental social being to considering its ethico-political imperatives.”
Text by Sandhini Poddar.