Orbitals 2019: New Delhi and Chandigarh

For the second edition of Orbitals, four curators traveled together to New Delhi and Chandigarh from October 13 to 21, 2019.

In New Delhi, the program of visits was organized in collaboration with the Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA), and in coordination with the writer and curator Mila Samdub. The trip included visits to arts institutions, museums, artists, and curators including: Alkazi Foundation, Asia Art Archive, Ravi Agarwal, Zuleikha Chaudhuri, Sheba Chhachhi, Critical Collective, Ishita Dey, Anita Dube, Five Million Incidents with curator Sabih Ahmed and artists Rohini Devasher, Amitesh Grover, Pallavi Paul, Gauri Gill, Sohrab Hura, Swati Janu, Jana Natya Manch, Amar Kanwar, The Khirkee Storytelling Project, Khoj Workshop, Kiran Nadar Museum of Arts, Shaunak Mahbubani, May Day Bookstore, National Gallery of Modern Art, Raqs Media Collective, Serendipity Arts Foundation, Sahej Rahal, Ram Rahman, Akansha Rastogi, and Vadhera Art Gallery. The curators also presented their own work during a public event at FICA titled A Fragmentary Reader on October 16.

In Chandigarh, curator Zasha Colah led the group through Chandigarh’s most renowned sites including the Chandigarh College of Architecture, the Capitol Complex, the Government Art Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Neelam Cinema, Pierre Jeanneret House, the Chandigarh Architecture Museum, the Rock Garden, Sukhna Club Boat House, and the Gurudwara village.

The participants were:

Soukaina Aboulaoula (b. 1993) is an independent curator based in Marrakech where she co-founded and co-manages Untitled, a curatorial, editorial, design, and art direction agency.

Nada Bakr (b. 1989) is an Egyptian curator, researcher, and cultural manager. She is currently the managing director and co-curator of Cairotronica — Cairo Electronic and New Media Art Festival, and is Community and Project Manager at Disruption Network Lab in Berlin

Nuha Innab (b. 1985) is an architect and researcher based in Amman where she co-founded OPPA for research and architecture in 2019, and is also the founder of Plot_436, a digital archive about architecture in Amman.

Beya Othmani (b. 1992) is an Algerian-Tunisian curator who is currently pursuing her MA in Spacial Strategies at the Weißensee Kunsthochschule in Berlin and preparing a program of artistic interventions at La Boite in Tunis.

The participants were selected from a very competitive pool of over 75 applicants.

The Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA) is a non-profit organization set up in 2007 with the aim to broaden the audience for contemporary Indian art, enhance opportunities for artists, and establish a continuous dialogue between the arts and the public through education and active participation in public art projects and funding.

Mila Samdub is a writer and curator based in New Delhi. He works on digital governance and modernist architecture. The future is his abiding research interest.

Zasha Colah is an independent curator who teaches comparative curatorial theory at NABA Milan. She co-founded Clark House Initiative in Mumbai, an artist and curatorial union.

  • October 16, 2019: A Fragmentary Reader at FICA in New Delhi

On the occasion of Orbitals 2019, Mophradat and the Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA) hosted an evening dedicated to some of the references and influences shaping today’s curatorial practices in the Arab world. The four participating curators, Soukaina Aboulaoula, Nada Bakr, Nuha Innab, and Beya Othmani, introduced their practices — ranging from architecture to visual arts, new media, and sound — through the material that informs their work. Presenting writings, videos, music, and more, a proposal for a tentative lexicon for understanding the contexts of art-making in the Arab world may emerge.

The program of Orbitals 2019 was organized by Marie-Nour Héchaimé.